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.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

I May Be a Kenyan In My Mind...But NOT In My Feet!

D was a snoring monster last night.  I slept like poo and it took me forever to fall asleep.  I've got Six Sigma on the brain (I'm currently doing my Black Belt and spent most of last evening studying), so I'm sure that didn't help.

I went to bed by 815 last night - about a half hour past when I planned - but just couldn't sleep.  D came in around 10, and I was asleep 10 minutes later.  I tossed around all night, and woke around 430.  Since my alarm was set to 445 anyway, I relaxed for a few and then got out of bed.  After coffee, I ate the tofu, squash, millet stew for breakfast.  I also experimented with a new mid-run fuel - FIG NEWTONS!  I had read that they're perfect running food; easily digested and a good source of carbs.  D went to the store last night to make sure I had some.  Since it's my last long run before the actual marathon, it was the last chance I had to experiment. 

I left aroun 6am and drove down to Final Kick.  I ran up Great Neck to VB blvd (5 miles), and back, so that knocked the first 10 off as planned.  I went down the trail just shy of 5 miles (it was becoming a hard to navigate mud fest), and did an additional little loop to W. Great Neck to get the extra mile in.  All told, I felt fine pretty much the whole time.  My stomach started feeling iffy around mile 16, but I don't think it was the fig newtons.  Because of the cookies, I used less GU, which made me happy.  My upper legs protested some the last 2-3 miles, but overall, it went pretty well.  I also only used about half the water that I did when I ran my 19 miler, and I still felt fine.

Here is what is dismaying to me.  I'm not any faster than I was back in March, or November, or the previous year.  My times at the 13 mile mark (that's sort of how I guage how I'm doing...against my previous half-marathons) is virtually the same.  D thinks I have a mental block about going faster and pushing myself harder.  I think he's probably right, but I'm not exactly sure how to get past it.  I'm worried that my marathon is going to take me nearly 6 hours!  At this pace, that's exactly what I'll end up with, which is disappointing to me.  I've already proven pretty much that traversing a marathon distance is doable for me, so it's not like I should be afraid of that.  Any ideas on this subject would be very welcomed indeed!

Tonight we're doing a backyard movie night - Futurama.  The kids are also having a few friends over and a couple that D and I are friends with are also coming.  All told - 10 people.  I was going to make mexican food for dinner, but we had that for lunch.  I had a Moe's veggie salad.  So...I'm making salad, lasagna, italian bread, (vegan) eggplant gratin, and some lemon rice.  Hopefully everyone will be happy with dinner.

I'm not sure I'm going to make it to the actual movie.  With as little sleep as I got and as early as I woke, I may end up excusing myself and going to bed.  I don't think anyone will hold it against me! 

Friday, August 27, 2010

Thai Food is Making a Comeback (in my life anyway)

Yesterday was a long, but productive day.  I was at the hospital by 715am, had a string of meetings, a yummy Thai lunch (I know, I know...so much for my ban on Thai food until post-marathon days), more meetings, a stop at my office on the way home, and home by 6ish.  I'm really enjoying all the new Cardiac stuff I'm doing, so I haven't really been able to complain about work.  It's been a LOT in a short period of time, and shows no signs of slowing, but I really dig it.

My eating yesterday left much to be desired.  I had coffee before work, and a bagel at work.  Lunch was a spring roll and tofu green curry.  After my team meeting, we went out to lunch, and I totally would have gone for Pasha's again, but I had that for lunch AND dinner the night before, so I just couldn't crave middle eastern food.  Thus Thai it was.  I rationalized it two ways...1-it wasn't a run night so I wasn't worried about my lunch making a return trip and landing in my neighbors yard and 2-if I'm going to keep up this major running thing, I need to train my body to be able to eat Thai food and have it remain in my stomach.  It's not like I'm going to give it up forever.  So there.  I ate my favorite meal for lunch!  I made pasta with hummus sauce for dinner.  I didn't use spinach though - I used peas.  I hate cooked spinach.  Unfortunately, I was so stuffed from lunch that I had no appetite for dinner.  I did have a taste and thought it was good.  Everyone else in the family ate it (yeah, vegan dinner for everyone!), so that's a good sign that I'll make it again.  Not so sure I'll use the garlic hummus though....it was almost too garlicky.

D had his doctors appts yesterday.  Good news is that he can stop taking the one med that they think is making him so sick.  Bad news is they upped the dosage on one of his maintenance meds that's more invasive than the rest, so he has to get his liver checked regularly.

Our lawnmower stopped working a little while ago, and my yard started looking terrible.  D had tinkered with it, but the lawn thing gets on my nerves more than his.  A and M had just taken the push mower to the front yard when D must have felt sorry for them and decided to try and fix the mower.  It was funny, because he went outside, messed around with it for a few, came back inside, proceeded to read the mower manual online, and then declared that he "had to rebuild a carburetor".  I think it was the manliest thing I had ever heard him say!  So off he went to some store, came back, and spent a good hour or more outside playing with the motor.  He got it working, came back in the house, and strutted around very proud of himself (and smelling like gas and sweat) until bed.

This morning, M went to mow the back yard, and the mower died after a minute and a half.  Tonight D tinkered with it for a few minutes, couldn't revive it, and borrowed our friend's riding mower who lives down the street.  I kid you not...D cut the grass!  I think he's only done that 2-3 times in the past 2 years or so, so it was a bit of a treat.  Anyway, much thanks for my friends mower!  Now I can let the kids have friends over tomorrow night for backyard movie fun with Futurama.

Breakfast was coffee and a tofu, squash, and millet stew.  I did my Fitlinxx workout in the morning, which is always a mixed blessing.  Good because it's done, and since I have to go to bed so early tonight, I didn't have to worry about trying to fit it in this evening.  Bad because I hate mornings.  Oh well.  Lunch was Chinese buffet (M, D and I went.  D wasn't feeling well, and I didn't find much there appetizing).  It's not often I leave a buffet and I'm not stuffed.  I had some miso soup, edamame, rice, and spring roll.  Dinner was pasta and the leftover roasted tomatoes and onions.  I'm heading to bed in a few since I have my 21 miler in the morning, so I hope I'm well fueled for tomorrow. 

So I'm off to bed in a few.  I have most of my gear for tomorrow set aside.  I'm going down to First Landing State Park (the poison-ivy trail).  I'm going to do 8-10 miles around the Great Neck/Hilltop area, and then go into the trail for the last half.  That way I hopefully won't end on that stupid trail that I hate.  I never seem to turn the right way, and I always end up in the marshy/sandy area that sucks to run on.

I'm hoping it goes well.  As it turns out, there's going to be 10 of us eating dinner at my house tomorrow.  If my run is awful, I'm not sure how I'm going to get off the floor and cook for that many....

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Nope, This Ain't My First Rodeo

I have wanted to have a reason to say that for as long as I learned the phrase.  The possibility has come to me twice in the past month...once just this evening.

Today was a long work day.  I had meetings scheduled until 730pm (though it went until 830pm).  I woke up with D this morning, had some coffee, and made R's lunch while he took a shower.  I had a 3 mile scheduled run today, so I opted for a morning run (I know..amazing) because I knew I wouldn't have the ability to run this evening.  More like I wouldn't have the inclination, but whatever...same thing :)

The run was pretty good, but my body didn't appreciate the java so close to the jarring motion of pounding pavement.  That, and I didn't really eat dinner.  Fortunately, it was only 3 miles, so it wasn't very long.  It was also a cool (if not muggy) morning, so that was nice too.  I was astounded by the number of neighbors I saw out and about exercising.  Kinda cool, but they're nuts if this is a regular thing.

After my morning run, I said goodbye to D and R, and started getting ready for work.  I had a bowl of veggie soup for breakfast after my shower, and was in the office by 10.  Lunch was a red lentil soup and half an Anatolian wrap (which is a Turkish dish of a red lentil patty and veggies).  Very awesome.  Dinner was a harvest grain salad with olive oil and lemon juice - another awesome meal from Pasha's in Norfolk.  And some Malbec!  Overall, a phenomenal eating day.

Work was really busy today.  I had a brief meeting around 10 with one of my team to give her some good news.  Then I had an 11 meeting to discuss adding a new team member to my other team (which I really need), which went well.  A quick lunch with a friend to bring her up to speed on the goings-on at work, and then a 2 hr team meeting.  From there, it was off to Norfolk to meet with L and A to discuss and plan the river weekend.  L is typing up the plan...she's so cute.  We're doing all the cooking since we're staying in A's vacation house.  Should be a very good time.

This evening I had a system demo from 6-830.  It went well, but was extremely long.  My role is as the IT director, making sure that the proposed new application is technically sound and will appropriate integrate or interface with out bazillion existing systems, work with our network, estimate the total IT costs, etc.  It was a very productive meeting and I think they are definitely the front runner for the contract.  As much as the meeting went well eventually, I always get the weird look and comments from the vendors when meetings like this start.  I look younger than I am, so they don't quite know what to make of me at first...until I start talking.  While I'm in my "late thirties (>35, <40), I don't really look it (blessed with good genes).  I typically get mid to late 20's as a guess, so the vendors think I'm easy to snow...kinda like a woman going to buy a car.  Easy mark.  NOT SO MUCH. 

This has happened to me twice in the past month.  Tonight the vendor was very gracious and eventually started directing all of the technical discussion my way.  Earlier this month with a different vendor, they were not so gracious.  After the meeting was over, the project manager from the other company actually came up to me, patted me on the shoulder, and told me in a very condescending way "what a good job I did".  I wanted to scream at the top of my lungs that this wasn't my first rodeo!  I thought it would be fun to say, but proper decorum dictated that I just think it and whine about it here.  Fortunately my customers and my bosses are happy with the job I am doing, and that's all that really matters.  Poo on the vendors!

Tomorrow is a ridiculously early day - with meetings starting at 8am back at the hospital that I didn't leave until after 830 tonight.  I should have packed a bag and asked for a room to stay in!  Alas....I haven't checked my workout schedule, so I think tomorrow is just a fitlinxx workout.  Maybe a small run, but I'm sure it's nothing big since Saturday is my crazy long 21 miler.  I'll have to pack my workout bag though, since I have meetings running until late in the afternoon.

D has a couple Dr's appts tomorrow, so hopefully he'll be cleared to be taken off the meds that are making him so sick.  He doesn't seem to be suffering so much from the Crohn's pain as much as the side effects of the meds to combat the Crohn's.  Can't wait until he's back to normal!

So now...I need to wind down from a crazy day enough to get a good night's sleep so I can get up early tomorrow for another crazy day.  At least it's job security, which is an awesome thing.  Can't complain at all!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


I realize I have been absent from my blog as of late.  The point was driven home even more so last night when my dad called to check up on me and see how things were since he hadn't seen a post in several days!  That's actually pretty cool....

My only good excuse is I've been busy.  With D's Crohn's flare-up, he needs to rest as much as possible (especially since he's still going to work every day), I'm doing the lion's share of all the "stuff" our family does.  I'm still getting in my workouts, but with so very little free time, I haven't kept up with updating my blog.

So, the week in a nutshell since last Wednesday???

Runs, Fitlinxx, work, cooking, chauffeuring the kids. 

The youngest two had dentist appointments on Friday, and the eldest today.  Good news is that all of their teeth are shiny and cavity free.  Bad news, is that my little one (who will be 7 in a few weeks) needs to see an orthodontist.  It's likely she'll need some teeth pulled, but until we have the consult, I really don't know much more.

Saturday was a wine party at a friend of ours.  D wasn't feeling up to it, so he was our designated driver.  We all went over to a different friends' house so A and M could babysit, then D took the adults to the party, and then went home to rest.  He then hoofed it all the way back to Norfolk to repeat the process in reverse.  Such a good guy!

Before the party, I went to Total Wine to hunt for a bottle to bring.  I've been particularly fond of Malbec's lately, so I was thinking of picking up either that or a bottle of Red Zinfandel.  (And B, if you're reading, Malbec is the wine we drank while watching Avatar when you were here, when you declared that you just may like red wine after all...)  Of course, going to Total Wine when you're a wine lover is like going to Home Depot when you're a tool lover!  Only in this case, you get a lot of free samples, and I don't think the hardware stores have picked up yet on giving away little miniature samples of wrenches and things....though I'd probably go just to get them.  My Dad has a big tool cabinet in his garage, and all the tools were always laid out meticulously and in order of size.  I used to gush over the "cute baby tools".  It annoyed him.  Anyway, I digress.  After sampling 6 different wines, I left with not only a Malbec for the party, but several other bottles of wine, a bottle of champagne, and a beer from Seattle I haven't seen in many years (for D when he's all better).  As it happens, I'm enjoying a nice class of Moscato right now!

Sunday was a disgustingly hot and muggy day.  I'm so over summer this year.  Fortunately, I didn't imbibe too much on Saturday, so I was in no need of "recovering" on Sunday.  I went to the gym and had a good workout while D took Sammie to the vet.

I forgot to mention a couple of weeks ago that my training plan has moved into the Stamina phase...which means no more of those awful sprint workouts until I train for my second marathon...which I haven't actually selected yet.  Which brings me to something else entirely.  I was assuming a few months ago that I would run the Chicago marathon, mark it off my list, and that would be the end of that.  In the beginning of my training program when I was inching to 10+ miles, I was thinking that my happy medium is a half-marathon, and after my full in October, I'd go back to the halves.  Now that I'm getting up there in mileage (15,17,19....21 this weekend), I realize that running that far isn't killing me, I don't actually hate it, and maybe I'll keep doing this.  Of course, I want to incorporate destination races as much as possible....like Disney, Vegas, Miami, NYC....who knows.  Maybe someday I'll qualify for Boston!   Ha.  That's actually kinda funny.  Don't think I'll ever run that fast.  But the point is, I may not be fast...but for some reason I can keep going.  I just realized as I'm typing that I am just like my favorite animal, the Penguin.  There is actually a running term for being a penguin runner, and that is me.  Essentially...have fun...don't die.

I'm trying to think what's been up in the cooking arena the past week.  I can tell you one thing though....eggs haven't been on the list in my house!  Not that I eat eggs anyway, but my family does.  Half a BILLION eggs recalled?  Maybe the disturbing practices of factory farming will start becoming public knowledge and we can end the madness.  These "farms" choose to pay millions of dollars in fines and penalties for unhealthy practices rather than clean up their acts because to fix the problems would cost more money than paying the bloody fines!  Sorry, preaching again, but the facts are that nothing good comes from factory farming.  Nothing at all.

But that is not the question I posed, was it?  I have been cooking some, but not a ton.  Tonight I'm making something I did a couple weeks ago from my Mediterranean vegan cookbook for tonight's meal.  Baked Sicilian style tomatoes and onions.  Sprinkled with some bread crumbs, olive oil, salt, pepper, and oregano, bake for an hour and a half at 350....and holy heaven on a fork. Sunday I made a marinated potato salad that was very simple, but tasty.  I honestly don't remember much before that!  I DID go out and buy a bottle of V8 for yummy bloody mary's though!

Tomorrow is a really long day (meetings until 730pm), so I'm going to do my run in the (gulp) morning.  It's only 3 miles, so it shouldn't be too tough.  I'll get up at 530 as usual, but just hit the office closer to 9 instead of earlier.

The next few weeks are going to be a whirlwind of activity.  The kids all have open houses at their respective schools, school itself starts, my last uber long run is this weekend, the Rock N Roll half-marathon, a weekend at the river with some friends (with kids, will be 12 of us), a trip to WI to visit family and attend a conference (where I have to give a presentation), a birthday party for my baby turning 7, and then off to Chicago to finally run this crazy thing!  Oy vey.  As for now....time for another glass of wine!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

A Run and a Bloody Mary (and Brett Favre is a Putz)

It turns out you CAN make a bloody mary with V8!  I've never actually tried it before.  To be honest, I don't think I've ever made a bloody mary before....which is strange since I do love them.  Anyway...

I apologize for not blogging yesterday. I just didn't have it in me, so I guess today is a two-fer.

Tuesday's are pretty long meeting days.  Granted, most days I have many meetings, but it seems that the Tuesday meetings are the longest in duration.  I have a hard time sitting in a room for 2+ hours without getting up and at the very least going to the bathroom.  Yesterday was no different.

Breakfast was some Irish steel cut oatmeal and coffee.  I had a banana during the meeting (excuse #1 to get up during the meeting...to throw away the peel).  I had very little time to get across town between meetings, so I grabbed a quick black bean wrap and a smoothie and had that at the next long meeting of the day.  I admit...I also had some jalapeno chips which are my favorite.   Dinner was a leftover stuffed bell pepper with some eggplant croquettes - which were fully awesome and from that Mediterranean Vegan Kitchen cookbook.

The older two kids and I went to the Y to do the Fitlinxx workout and then A was off to her boyfriends house to go swimming, have dinner, and spend some quality time with his parents (tee hee).  I had nearly finished book 5 of my audio book while doing my weight training, and I figured I'd finish the last 15-20 minutes while making dinner.  This is the only time I break my rule of not listening unless working out.  If I'm so close to the end that I'd run out during my next workout, I finish it while doing something other than working out. 

I finally watched Episode 1 of Season 1 of True Blood!  I figure that now that I'm starting book 6, I can probably start watching the series, and D downloaded it to our upstairs TV the other day.  All told, it was fun.  At 8 minutes and 46 seconds into the episode they had the first major character modification, though it works within the context of the show and it didn't irritate me enough to make me not want to watch it.  I was surprised because fairly recently D and I rented a movie (Angels & Demons) and turned it off about 5 minutes in because they changed it SO much I couldn't handle it.  I had just finished the audio book (though I've read the book before), and I was worried I may have the same reaction to True Blood.  Fortunately I haven't yet...so far so good.

Today was another long, but good day.  I had meetings non-stop from 11-5pm.  I did get quite a bit done that I wanted to this morning though, so I felt good about that.

Breakfast today was the remaining stuffed bell pepper and coffee.  I have to clarify when I mention my unconventional breakfasts.  I don't actually drink my coffee while eating.  I typically finish my coffee anywhere from 15-45 minutes before I eat.  Even I think that flavor combination would be weird. 

My mid-morning snack was popcorn.  Not balanced (bad me), but very yummy.  I wasn't hungry most of the rest of the day, so my lunch was really just snacking on some prunes in orange essence.  I never thought I'd eat prunes (or admit to eating them), but I love plums and decided to give them a try.  I bought the dried ones in orange essence from Sunmaid and they're wonderful.  Dinner was some tofu spicy soup.  Once a staple (as it was the first fully-successful tofu meal I had made), I haven't had it in months.  I think the weather has been so hot, that I just didn't want it.  Fortunately, today we had some major storms which cooled it down a bit, and with the AC cranked, a spicy tofu soup sounded perfect.

Speaking of storms, it gave me a bit of a delima.  Today's scheduled run was a 6-miler.  I really wanted to do it, but was worried about getting poured on.  D's also still not feeling the greatest, so I was taking the kids to TKD.  Their class is roughly 45 minutes.  Try as I might, I can't possibly run 6 miles in that length of time.  I decided to run tomorrow's run today (only a 30 minute run), and do the 6 miles tomorrow.  I'll have more time and more luck with the weather.  As it was, I started getting sprinkled on just as my 30 minutes was coming to an end.  It didn't bother me though because I was a sheen of wet due to the humidity and my inability to have the sweat on my body evaporate.  Sorry, I imagine that visual isn't too cool.

I was checking my Twitter account, and received the following post NPR news this evening "QB Brett Favre: One and Done".  Yeah.  Right.  According to the article, pretty much everyone is excited about this; except many WI fans.  I'm one of them....you don't sign a lifetime contract with a team and then go play for one of our biggest rivals.  And you know what...I don't even WATCH football!  I just think it's annoying that he "retires" and comes back just before the season starts.  I've read that it's just his way of avoiding training camps.  Putz. 

On the more fun side, after my shower, I decided that I wanted a bloody mary!  I have a martini shaker that has recipes on it, and I had pretty much everything I needed.  I didn't have tomato juice, but I had a little lonely can of V8 (D drinks them often..especially when he has a flare-up...since he can't eat fruits or veggies when he's sick, it makes me happy).  I had vodka, and I picked up a bottle of vegan Worcestershire sauce the last time I was at a hippie grocery at the Oceanfront.  For those who don't know....regular Worcestershire sauce is made with anchovies.  EWWWW.  

Monday, August 16, 2010

All About Balance

Today is Monday, so it was back to work.  Overall, it wasn't a bad day, just starting to realize how much stuff I have to get done in so little amount of time.  I get fleeting moments of feeling overwhelmed, but they usually don't last very long.  I know that if I focus, I'll be okay.

With summer ending, I'm also thinking about how much life in general costs (back to school expenses are never fun).  This happens to me a couple of times a year (like right after Christmas, summer time, when D gets sick, etc), and I try to think of ways to downsize my life.  Today my head was filled with thoughts like that which get me both excited about the possibilities...and depressed!  Oh well.  It is in the vein that I think it's funny about my pictures below.  D is still feeling poopy, so I took the kids to tae kwon do, and did my scheduled 40 minute run in the REALLY nice neighborhood while they were in class.  I took a couple pictures of the mcmansions I ran past.  It's funny because when I run in really nice neighborhoods like this (which I enjoy immensely), I usually think things like "that would be cool to live in", and "hey look, a gazebo", or sometimes "good grief, how would I keep a house that big clean"?  Today was different.  Today I thought, "wow, there are no kids playing in this neighborhood" and "I bet it's like a museum inside...I'd be afraid to touch everything", and "ugh, I'd have to pay for housekeepers and gardeners just to keep it looking nice", which goes in the face of everything I was thinking about today with trying to think of ways to reduce the excess in my life. 

I had normal black drip coffee this morning.  D laughed at me that I was slumming it with my java since I've been drinking espresso pretty much every morning since April when I got my new espresso machine.  I thought it was funny, and told him I was feeling especially lazy (since he always makes the normal coffee).  My breakfast was leftover slow roasted onions and tomatoes over couscous - my dinner from last night.  I snacked on some low fat crackers and fruit the rest of the day.  My lunch was admittedly unbalanced.  It was the leftover basmati rice (I made a batch to use with the peppers for dinner) with soy sauce. I was in a hurry!  I made a coconut-rice-pineapple stuffed bell pepper meal in the slow cooker for my dinner.  It was surprisingly bland - until I dumped a ton of hot sauce on it.  Then it was quite tasty!  I think this is the first recipe from my slow cooker vegetarian book that I didn't love.  It's a bummer too, because I was going to take a stuffed pepper each to H and M since they gave me those peppers from their gardens.  I'll have to make them something else instead! 

I made a healthy shrimp recipe for D and the kids for their dinner tonight.  I had everything on hand except the spinach, so I just made it without.  I served it over couscous, and everyone seemed to really enjoy it. 

The kids finished off the tofu eggless salad last night, so I'll have to make another batch this week.  I have plenty of other leftovers, and while my family (other than me) is absolutely pathetic about eating them, they're going to have to get used to it!  I think we're too wasteful with food, and they can start contributing by eating leftovers the next day.  D is especially bad at this (example....just a few minutes ago, he decided he was hungry and made himself a sandwich....while I have leftover dinner from today, chicken and rice leftovers from the other day, and pasta leftovers too!  All of which will be thrown away in the next day....wasted).  The kids will eat them if I remind them that they're there.  Otherwise they tend to forget too. 

Well, that's pretty much it.  It's been a pretty uneventful day, so I don't have a ton to talk about!  My run was good, and I was only a little sore.  Most of the aches were worked out in the first 1/4 mile, so that was good.  My book is almost over, and I'm looking forward to book 6 already!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

I Wish I Didn't Have a Black Thumb

I didn't want to get up this morning.  I fell asleep almost as soon as I went to bed last night (which was immediately after D and I got home from the movies).  I slept awesome, and if it weren't for Sammie and her bark-every-30-seconds-until-I-get-fed routine, I probably would have slept even more.  I rarely sleep in on the weekends anyway (up stupid-early on Saturday's to run, and I naturally wake up no later than 7 now anyway), so to have Sam wake me at 845 this morning was truly sleeping in!  I think I have some super-hearing thing going on anyway, because I'm the only one that Sammie actually manages to wake up.  I think she knows this and does this on purpose.  Then again, I think she likes me the most anyway; but me getting up to her whim probably has something to do with it.

I fed her, let her out to do her rounds in the yard, and had a nice and relaxing morning.  I made a cup of espresso, and tried to make a dent into my piles of magazines I've ignored for the past 3 months.  I'm sore today, but not nearly as bad as I could be.  What I really SHOULD be doing is taking an ice bath after long runs, but I'd rather stick pencils in my eyes that do that.  Apparently hot showers just prolongs the soreness....but I'd rather be sore and clean than cold and angry anyway.

Aside from java, my breakfast was another tofu eggless salad sandwich.  I have to say, they are REALLY good.  The first time I had tofu "egg" salad was from Whole Foods in WI.  I was hooked the moment I tried it.  I used to be a HUGE egg salad fan, so this was totally cool.  I miss having a close by Whole Foods, the closest being in Richmons, so I had to figure out how to make this for myself. There are two kinds of tofu that I find in the grocery.  The first is in the produce section, and are typically bricks of tofu that are vacu-sealed in water.  The second are actually found on the shelves if your grocery tends to have a hippie-food section (as my kids call it).  These are hermetically sealed cardboard containers of silken tofu.  It was on one of these Mori-Nu bricks (that's the brand I always see on the shelves) that I saw the recipe that I fell in love with.  Just because I can, I'm sharing that recipe now!

1 package of the Mori-Nu Organic Silken Firm Tofu
3 Tbsp Light Mayo (I use Veganaise)
1/4 tsp honey (I use Agave Nectar instead because it's vegan, but if you don't care, honey will work)
1/8 tsp salt (honestly, it needs a bit more)
1/4 tsp turmeric (makes it nice and yellow)
1/8 tsp dry mustard
2 tbsp relish (I use the sweet kind)
2 tbsp minced onion (I use red)
2 tbsp celery
1/8 tsp pepper (needs more of this too; I just sprinkle some on the sandwich)

Drain tofu and pat try with paper towels.  Combine the ingredients from mayo to pepper into a sauce.  Crumble or cube tofu (I actually use an egg slicer the way I would have with normal egg salad).  Mix, refrigerate for 30 minutes, and enjoy!  I personally enjoy it on toasted bread, but I'll probably throw what's left into a wrap with a ton of lettuce or something for lunch this week.

A couple of days ago, I put a plea out to anyone I knew who may have some fresh produce about to spoil in their garden, that I would gladly take them off their hands.  We didn't do a garden this year, mainly because I kill every living plant I've ever had with my black thumb (because I'm neglectful).  I've only ever had one garden, and that's when I lived in WI.  It was good, but didn't put up a fence around it, so between the dog and the bunnies, I really didn't have anything meaningful.  D and I planned on doing one this year, but we were contemplating moving to another state during the VA planting season, so we didn't do it.  M set aside some eggplant, bell peppers, and cucumbers for me, and today H brought me some jalapenos, bell peppers, and cherry tomatoes.  Yeah!  T has some eggplant and figs (which I've never actually had except in their dried version, which are really just big raisins)..so for now, I'll get some of my garden fix vicariously through friends.  I have to say that the coolest garden I probably ever saw was my parents.  It was pretty big and fully fenced in with a hose/irrigation system.  They had more than they could ever actually use, and I hope to have a garden like that someday (hopefully next year, and will donate any excess to the local food bank).  For someone who eats as "close to the earth" as possible, it's pretty shameful I don't have a garden.  Thanks to S, I DO have a basil plant, and I've used that a lot this summer.  In fact, A (my eldest) picked all the use able leaves off of it just today for fresh pesto.

After breakfast, I met up with H at the Y for an 1130 yoga class.  I've been doing Hot Yoga exclusively for the last year at Chesapeake Hot Yoga, but I canceled my membership last week.  It's not that I don't love hot yoga, because I do.  The thing is...1) it's a waste of money for me (I can only go 1-2 times per month, and the drop in fee is less than the monthly membership fee), and 2) I don't want a yoga class that's going to kick my butt!  I do that enough with my regular workout routine.  I want Yoga to stretch, strengthen, and relax me.  A hot yoga class is the equivalent of running 5 miles, so I kinda figured that it isn't the right thing for me right now.  I also already pay for a family Y membership, so it's stupid not to use it.

While it was really nice seeing H (haven't seen her in a while), the class was only so-so.  The first half hour was strange, and not really yoga at all.  The lady was a little strange and was reading off print outs to explain why certain poses were contra-indicated in certain people.  She also talked really fast and really quietly, and didn't explain the poses well.  And I was annoyed that she didn't hold any pose for any length of time.  The second half of the class was more like the typical yoga classes I've been to.  We did sun salutation, balance poses, and pigeon (my personal favorite).  I enjoyed the second half much more than the first half.  I'm pretty sure I would not go to another class taught by this lady, but I am now open to using my Y membership for more than the Fitlinxx and swimming/swim lessons that I use it for now.  I'll keep trying the different yoga classes out and see how it goes.

After yoga, I went to Bed Bath and Beyond to pick up some tervis tumblers that were on sale.  I've replaced most of my cups with these.  D likes them too, and today, I took to Goodwill all of our travel mugs, since the Tervis keeps the drinks hot too.  I blame S for this new found love of Tervis and am hoping there is some type of support group out there for Tervis addicts.

My other destination was Sam's club to pick up dog food, coffee creamer, and cheese slices.  By the time I was done at BBB, I was starving and didn't want to go to Sam's hungry.  What is nearby???  MOE'S of course!  I had to stop for a personal trainer veggie salad.  Since I talk about them so much (and crave them so much), below is a picture of my favorite salad. 

I went to Sam's after, and of course ended up with much more than dog food and cheese slices.  I bought bread, lunch meat, ice cream sandwiches (they are a big favorite with D and the kids), oranges, and a bunch of other things.

For dinner, I made eggplant croquettes with tomato marinara (thanks to the bounty of M's garden), and slow roasted/caramelized onions and tomatoes over couscous (phenomenal).  All these recipes came out of the vegan Mediterranean cookbook, which is my current favorite.  Of course since I was cooking Italian/Greek food, I had to enjoy plenty of red wine with it!  Tonight, I plan on putting some slow-cooker stuffed bell peppers on (with couscous and lentils), so I'll have some great lunch options tomorrow.  I also need to bring some tasty treats to my friends since it's due to their green thumbs that I have all this yummy food to eat.

I also made a chocolate-chip cookie bread in my newly replaced bread machine (I killed my last one apparently from overuse; Cuisinart replaced it for nothing more than the $10 shipping fee).  That's totally for the kids :)

Other than that, I fully expect to keep on enjoying my red wine, and eventually getting to bed.  Tomorrow is a run day, so I'm actually looking forward to that!  It's not 19 miles, so I can only look up.  I'm not quite as sore today as I was yesterday (meaning I can walk down the stairs without cringing), and I'm sure the strange yoga class today helped.  Overall, I had a really good day, and am signing off in one heck of a good mood...

  Moe's Personal Trainer veggie taco salad with black beans and guacamole.  I add more salsa and tons of hot sauce so it's tasty AND my mouth is burning by the time I'm done!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Need to Find the Balance Between Being Hydrated and Needing to Pee at 2am

I went to bed nice and early last night.  I crawled in bed around 8pm, and was out by 9.  D was very cute, snuggling with me until I fell asleep before he went back downstairs.  I woke up a bit when D came to bed at midnight (he stayed up to watch the meteor shower), but fell right back asleep.  I started tossing around 2am because I needed to go to the bathroom.  I drink a ton of water during the day, which I know is really good for me.  I'm always very cognizant to drink a lot of water on Friday nights especially so I don't feel dehydrated on a Saturday morning run.  Unfortunately, I end up being woken up in the middle of the night needing to pee!  And then I refuse to get out of bed because I'm afraid I'll "wake up", but then I just end up being mostly awake that much longer anyway, until I finally roll out of bed.  Sorry if that was TMI, but it is what it is, and that was me last night.

I woke up at 450 and decided to just get up before my alarm went off and disturbed D.  All of my stuff was already laid out, so all I had to do was get dressed and make a cup of coffee.  What I wanted for breakfast was some toast with sunflower butter and a banana.  Unfortunately, all my bananas were on the wrong side of ripe (better for banana bread or a smoothie, but not eating plain).  I ended up eating another tofu eggless salad sandwich.  I figured it was a good balance; protein from the tofu and whole grains from the toast.  I was right, and I felt well fueled.  I did start getting hungry around the 14 mile mark again though.  I read that fig newtons are a great mid-run snack, and I'm going to bring some on my 21 miler in 2 weeks and try that out. 

I walked out the front door at 610am.  I did a 1/4 mile warm up, and then took off down the road.  As I was hoping, the first part of the run that made me a little nervous - running down Centerville - but it wasn't too bad.  It was early enough where there wasn't a lot of traffic, so I was able to mostly run in the street.  I only had to go off into the grassy area for a couple of seconds at a time.  There was one strange moment though.  I was passing a Nursery, and there was a man in his car in the lot (I was running on the other side of the road, so I wasn't creeped out or anything).  Many of the local Nursery or produce stands leave melons, etc out and a lock box to put money in, operating on the honor system after closing hours.  Apparently this man was upset that no one was there to take his money (I mean really...it's 630am on a Saturday...who's going to be there?!?).  Anyway, he starts yelling to me - VERY rudely - asking me where everyone one is that works there.  Really?  How on earth would I possibly know that?  I told him as much, put my headphones back on, and kept going. 

My camelbak worked great.  I was drinking very liberally, knowing I had plenty of opportunity to refill it if I needed to.  At the 12 1/2 mile mark, I stopped at the 7-11 I was going past, enjoyed the AC for a few minutes, and bought a big bottle of water.  I went outside, sat on the grass in the shade for a couple minutes, filled up my bag, and then took back off.  Maybe I won't be able to take a 10 minute recharge break during the actual marathon, but today it was very nice!

Part of the run was a bit iffy, so I rerouted myself to stick to as many roads as possible that had sidewalks.  Running down Battlefield was certainly an adventure.  It's a very busy road, but it has sidewalks and crosswalks most of the way, so it was good.  The last part of Battlefield though, was bad (no sidewalks, no shoulder, and knee deep grass), and I don't ever want to run there again!  Once I turned down the main street heading towards my house, it was pretty good again.  Of course, because I cut out part of the run where I thought it would be dangerous, I had to add an unplanned loop through my neighborhood.  While I didn't feel like I was dying (thank you 7-11 break!), I was very happy to get home!

I walked up the driveway and saw A waving to me from her bedroom window.  D and M were playing video games, R was watching spongebob, and even Sammie - who normally is a very enthusiastic greeter whenever I come home (or anyone walks in the door...or near it...) was very subdued.  I probably smelled and that scared her!

After taking off my running gear and shoes, I decided to lie down on my bedroom floor before hitting the shower - I needed to cool off first.  While my legs were a little sore, it was the balls of my feet that were killing me.  It took a couple hours, but they finally stopped hurting.  The good news is that Bodyglide must have been invented by the Gods, and nothing chaffed.  The bad news is I got two new blisters.  Oh well.  Two steps forward, one step back.  They're not painful, so they shouldn't keep me from lacing up again Monday.  BUT..they're not cute, so I won't be wearing sandals to work either.

While I was in the shower, D took the older kids to the mall, and then went over to S's house to work on her computer issues.  After relaxing for a bit, R and I went over also to hang out for a bit.  After awhile, D had the computer working, and he took R home while S and I went and grabbed a beer and a late lunch (which was a veggie burger in hot sauce, french fries, and pretzel bites with mustard.  Not so much on the healthy side, but since I burned 2700 calories on my run I didn't even remotely feel guilty).

This run was a far cry different from my 17 miler 2 weeks ago.  That run felt fine while doing it, but I felt run down and pretty awful most of the rest of the day.  Not so today.  I was convinced that I would need a nap after, but instead I felt good and even left the house!  I got home around 5 and have been relaxing and watching TV.  D and I and S and her husband are going out to an 830 showing of The Expendables, which looks hilarious.  I think I'll stick to water and maybe a diet coke though, and let them drink the beer!  I may be feeling good, but I did get up just before 5am.  Even I have my limits!

Friday, August 13, 2010

A Valuable Lesson From a Bike Trip When I Was 15

I think this post is coming earlier in the day than pretty much any other I've done.  Mainly it's because I plan on going to bed in the next hour and a half...which will be right about 8pm.  I have a 19 miler scheduled for tomorrow, and want to get up obscenely early so I can run before it's gets too hot.

R came into our room sometime in the middle of the night and crawled into bed with us.  For a very little girl, she takes up a lot of room.  Sleep was on the tossing and turning side most of the night because of it.

Breakfast today was coffee and the rest of the Eggplant Gratin with Orange-Tomato sauce leftovers from Wednesday.  I didn't have a mid-morning snack, but I ate an early lunch at Moe's!  Veggie salad of course.  My afternoon snack was some reduced fat generic Wheat Thins and some horseradish hummus from Trader Joe's.  Dinner was a tofu eggless salad on two pieces of whole wheat toast - very tasty!

I decided I needed to really plan for tomorrow.  19 miles scares the crap out of me, and I don't want to be in the situation I was a few weeks ago where I didn't plan, and ended up starting later than I anticipated.  I went onto a website called Favoriterun.com and created a 19-ish mile route that starts and ends near my house.  Once I created the map, I typed out the exact turns (ie-run down Centerville Turnpike, left on Butts Road Station...etc...), printed it out, cut it down to size, and then placed it in a baggie to take with me tomorrow.  Earlier this afternoon I drove the route just to be sure I can swing it.  I'm a little nervous at a couple points because lack of sidewalk or shoulder, but I'm hoping that since I'm running early enough, it won't be a problem.  If it is, I'll reroute and wing it.  I have a Garmin GPS watch, so it's not like I'll "accidentally" run too few miles.

When I was 15, I went on a bike ride with my Dad.  This was not just a ride around the neighborhood, it was the SAAGBRAW, which is a cross-state trip in WI.  One of the things that I remember most was the clear map case on top of our bike bags.  We would have a map for the day that let us know where we needed to go (each day was about 75 miles), and it would be snapped to the top of our handlebar bag in a clear pouch.  This REALLY came in handy when it rained!  I figured this little bit of knowledge would come in handy sometime later in life, and indeed it has.  Granted, I'm running and not biking tomorrow, but I thought it could only be smart to put my map in a baggie.  When my hands are sweaty and sticky...or if it rains on me tomorrow (which it may), this will keep the route instructions dry!  And even though I haven't even gone out for my run yet, it's already come in handy.  I was setting up my gear for tomorrow on the counter, when my son M decided he wanted some V8 Splash juice, and poured himself a glass.  When I walked back in there, what was all over my baggie???  You guessed it, many drops of juice.  Just a quick wipe, and good as new.

I've also been toying with the idea of getting a Camelbak hydration bag.  S has a couple (I call it her "luggage", but she really likes them).  My water bottle belt holds 20 ounces of fluid, which has been fine, but I don't think it's nearly enough to keep me hydrated for 19 miles.  I know I'm supposed to condition myself to only need water every 2 miles when I run (since this is approximately how spaced apart water stations are on race day), but frankly...it's so bloody hot this summer, that I've needed water more often than every 2 mi. My last 2 really long runs I did at First Landing State Park, which allowed me to refill my water about 2 times, so I ended up drinking 60 ounces.  I really want to run from home tomorrow to cut down on the travel time (which takes a good 30-45 minutes from the time I leave home, get to my destination, park, put on my gear, etc).  This way I can just walk out my front door and go.  Of course this then posed a potential hydration problem for me.  I did some research and then went to the store.  I left with a lightweight Camelbak Charm that holds 50 ounces of water.  Filled completely with water, it weighs 4 lbs.  I figure it's worth it.  It can also hold my phone, ID, and some cash or keys.  I just hope it doesn't cause excessive sweaty back.  That'll just gross me out, and I'd probably never use it again!

Today was cross training day, so I went to the Y for my Fitlinxx routine.  I went early in the afternoon, so it wasn't crowded at all, and got done in right at an hour.  Typically I do that on Thursday's, but D wasn't feeling well yesterday and I took R to her gymnastics class.

On a different note altogether, below are a couple pictures.  About 2 years ago, I really got into making school lunches that generate as little trash as possible.  There's a website called Laptop Lunches, and I purchased a kit to try out on the kids.  Since then, I've gotten a couple Bento boxes, and think they're awesome.  I use them for the kids whenever possible, and when I pack any of their lunches (D too), I use containers or bento.  I also have the book Vegan Lunchbox, and use it (and the websites and blogs I read) to try and come up with inventive lunches.  During the school year, A and M often have homemade sushi, pasta salads, or hot lentil soups.  R is NOT an adventurous eater, but she's just starting to use the laptop lunch kit, and loving it.  It makes me feel good because there's no garbage being created.  I also know when she DOESN'T eat something I put in her lunch!  She often eats about a third of her lunch, comes home and exclaims how starving she is...and I tell her she can finish her lunch.  That happened today...but she DID eat her carrots (okay, M ate one..).

R's lunch today.  I cut her sandwich into 4's...it's how my Dad cut mine as a little kid.

I always put a note in D's lunch.  Today, I put one in R's lunch pleading with her to eat her carrots!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Open Keyboard, Insert Foot

So I know that's not exactly the phrase, but it's pretty close!  As it turns out, TWO things I have mentioned in the past week have proven to be untrue.

First of all, apparently there is NO law against driving barefoot in WI.  I really do remember being told that when I was younger, but like many things we figure out later, it was nothing but an urban myth.  Had I taken the time to actually Google that little tidbit before writing, I would have found this! Thanks to my sister for actually researching what I said!  To bad I didn't call her BEFORE I decided to blog about it...

And second...it turns out that the narrator of book 5 of the True Blood audio books, Dead As A Doornail, is the very same person as the previous 4.  D actually went back to the beginning of the book (he's further along than I am) and verified that it is indeed the same woman.  He DOES agree with me that she's changed up the voices a little bit though (he can barely tell, but I pay much more attention to things like that than he does).  She's apparently a comedienne and I suppose may have had other gigs than narrating 10 Suki Stackhouse books in a row!  Maybe she just forgot that Pam wasn't American, Erik was Viking, and Suki was much more southern.  Anyway, it's been a week of being proven wrong :) 

I do think it's neat though after my last post that my sister-in-law B is now on Twitter.  I think everyone should be!  I'm still reading my Dummies book....and will really focus on it once I'm done with Daniel Sliva's latest The Rembrandt Affair, which I almost am.  According to my Kindle, I'm at 93%.

Speaking of my Kindle, it sparked a friendly conversation with a stranger yesterday.  I hadn't been to Moe's for a few weeks, and was craving my Personal Trainer veggie salad, so I popped in there for a quick lunch.  As always, the guy behind the counter (who turns out is the manager), greeted me and knew what I was going to order.  Also as always, I sat at a table with my salad, a glass of water, and my Kindle (well, almost always.  Once I ate there with my Dad...).  Anyhow, I was finishing up, when a man walked up to me and asked me if I liked my Kindle.  The first time this happened to me, I got a little unnerved by some stranger striking up a conversation with me, but I'm fully used to it by now.  I explained to him that yes, I loved it, and I find it wildly convenient to have up to 1500 or so books at my immediate disposal should I choose...without having to hire a semi-truck to follow me around.  The typical conversation ensued "don't you miss the feel of a book in your hands??"..."nope"...et cetera, et cetera.  He asked me if I knew anything about the other e-readers.  I mentioned that a good friends of mine had Nooks and iPads, and that as far as e-books go, they're probably all pretty similar (though obviously the iPad does much more...if you're willing to pay the data plan, etc).  He then asked what I was reading (which is the afore mentioned Rembrandt Affair), and we ended up going into a long discussion about Israel, politics, and food.  It turns out he does marketing for a restaurant group and was scoping out Chesapeake.  He asked a lot of questions about restaurants, where the "kids hang out", etc.  I finally figured out he wasn't interested in my opinions about my Kindle at all!  He was doing research on where his company should invest in some type of restaurant venture. 

Yesterday ended up being a pretty bad day for D, Crohn's wise.  It started out pretty well, but went downhill.  Tonight has been pretty ugly too.  We're starting to figure out some trigger foods for him (like acidity and fat content), and he's now relegated to a very bland and low residual diet (zero fiber, no nuts, seeds, chewy meats, or fruits and veg).  He has a follow-up apt on the 26th...to give some time for his meds to work...before they try something else.  Poor baby.

Today's 4 mile run was very much looked forward to by me.  I've been royally stressed out by many things, and definitely needed that outlet.  It felt good to push it, and I was actually averaging just under a 9 minute mile for much of it (don't get overly excited...it's not normal for me).  I was really sweaty, really thirsty, and really hungry after.  It's just one of those things.  Some days I think of my pending run as a penalty...and sometimes as my salvation.  Today was heavenly.

Food wise was a mixed bag.  Breakfast was coffee, fruit and toast.  My mid-morning snack was the Asian baked tofu stir fry leftovers.  And then it all kinda went downhill from there.  Lunch was lentils (leftover from Sunday)...and popcorn...and Skittles.  In the afternoon, I snacked on some Twizzlers!  My stomach was killing me from all the sugar.  Dinner ended up being some simple Miracle noodles boiled with corn and peas.  I do have a new app for my iPhone called Tap and Track, that helps me log everything I eat.  I know why research says people lose weight and keep it off when they document.  Looking at it right now, I had 1200 calories...most in the form of sugar.  Ugh.

Well, that's about it.  Another early day tomorrow with 7am meetings (4th day this week).  Can't complain though, since for the most part I really love my job.  Even though it contributes to my stress level being sky-high.  I guess it also contributes to my happy running days!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Cell Phone Experiment!

From my beach run a couple weeks ago!  And attempting to figure out how to post pictures from my phone directly to my blog...hope this works!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

UGH...The Narrator Changed MID Series

I forgot to whine about this last night.  So on my run last night I started book 5 of the True Blood series.  I was annoyed because the first 4 books were narrated by someone I had gotten used too...and this one is narrated by someone different.  It's subtle, but it still bugs me.  None of the characters have the same accent...Suki isn't "Louisiana" enough, Pam sounds American, and Erik only has a slight viking accent.  Other than that, the new narrator isn't too bad.  Unlike a different book series D and I listened to a couple of years ago...Sword of Shannara books from Terry Brooks.  O boy.  That was actually a deal breaker, and I stopped listening to them because of it.  If you don't listen to audio books regularly - especially a series - it's hard to explain.  You get used to how a narrator pronounces words or names, and when someone changes it, it's hard to accept.  Anyway, I digress.  Just a bit of advice to audio book makers....when it comes to a series, stick to a single narrator!  You don't change authors mid-stream...don't change narrators either!  Okay, that was an extreme analogy, but still...

Today was a lot of meetings, so very little in the way of real work got done.  I did, however, get excited about a few things...

I set up a Twitter account (aptly named RunCrissieRun), and have been learning more about it.  I'm doing this for a few reasons to be honest - one is because it would make sense to know more about the advances in technology - especially how they can apply to business innovations (since that's kind of my job).  The other is because it's actually very cool.  Think blogging...but only getting to use 140 characters at a time.  It's called micro blogging, and it can be pretty amazing...once you filter through the things you really want to do with it.  I'm still just learning (Twitter for Dummies is one of my road maps), but I think it's been revolutionary for a reason.  I spent some time on Twitter this morning and I'm now following multiple news sites (CNN, NPR), healthy related users (Lance Armstrong, VegNews, Yoga Journal, US soccer, my employer), business users, environmentally conscious users...you get the idea.  It's really quite amazing.

I also sort of got a little activism bug today too.  I was looking at my blogger dashboard - which lists my blog on top, and any that I'm following.  One is a blog from a mother who is raising a child with nut allergies (as I am), and her most recent post was about how the DOT has re-opened discussions about banning peanuts from US airlines.  I ended up clicking on just about every link to multiple organizations dedicated to protecting people with food allergies, including the DOT.  3.3 million US citizens have a nut allergy.  That's pretty statistically significant.  Anyway, it was nice to connect to a community of people that are living with what my family is.  All thanks to blogging. 

Anyway.  Breakfast was fruit - and orange and some watermelon.  Lunch was a stir fry of red onion, red bell pepper, Asian tofu, miracle noodles, hot red pepper flakes, and soy sauce.  It was insanely good.  After my last meeting of the day, the kids and I went to the gym for Fitlinxx and swimming.  D seems to be feeling a bit better today, so hopefully he's on the upswing from his recent Crohn's flare-ups.  I snacked on a few generic triscuits and hummus, but should probably go dig up something real for dinner.  Maybe the leftovers from lunch, since it was so good.  I still have lentils too.  The kids had an upside down dinner night (meaning breakfast for dinner).  Since D was feeling better, but not well enough to go to the gym, I decided that HE got to make breakfast.  Since the only thing he really cooks are omelets, I took some bacon out of the fridge, and he made ham and cheese omelets with bacon for them.  I'm struck sometimes by the major differences in the way I eat and the way my family does.  Sometimes I'm sad that they eat meat, but I hold firm that it's not my right to force my lifestyle choices on them.  They know why I'm a vegan, and they are all very supportive.  If they are so supportive of me, it would be terrible of me to not be supportive of them to make their own choices.  It still makes me sad sometimes though.  Anyway, I'm off to make my own dinner.  And watch the Rock beat up a football team in the Rundown since it's on TV right now!  That, and I have another 7am meeting tomorrow, so I hope to go to bed early tonight.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Blister Bandaids are a Double Edged Sword

Sunday was a pretty lazy day.  So much so, that I don't think I actually went outside (which is very rare for me).  It was ugly hot, so all the more reason to stay inside.  I spent much of the day reading cookbooks, making a list of about 10 recipes of which I had all the ingredients, and ended up only having the energy to cook one thing (a lentil and brown rice dish from my Mediterranean vegan cookbook - awesome...especially with some hot sauce). 
D and I rented Clash of the Titans for us and The Tooth Fairy for the kids.  Like I said.  A lazy day.  I do have to say that while Clash of the Titans didn't suck...it wasn't great either.  It had the potential to be awesome...but wasn't. 

I put on a real pair of shoes today for work and wanted to cry.  Blisters suck.  I put on a pair of flats that look like ballet slippers, so they went with my outfit okay, and didn't hurt my feet.  It didn't scream "professional and powerful", but hey, it did scream "I'm not killing my feet!" either. 

Breakfast was some coffee, toast, and sunflower butter.  I was in a hurry (had to be to the office before 7am), so I wasn't in the mood for anything substantial.  Of course, I got hungry by 9, so I ate some lentils with hot sauce.  Fabulous (at only 93 calories!).    Just after noon, D and I met at Pizzeria Uno's for lunch.  I had a farro salad and roasted veggie wrap - both pretty tasty.  D had very little.  When he has a flare up, he can barely eat...and when he does, he hurts after.  It breaks my heart because there's nothing that can be done.  He feels like crap - but tries to hide it from everyone.  It doesn't work, even when he flashes his brilliant smile.  For dinner, I made a yummy vegan saffron arborrio Milanese, green beans, and marinated some tofu in an Asian marinade.  Of course, the tofu wasn't ready in time, so my meal was just the rice and green beans.  D made a charred log out of a pork tenderloin for the kids and him.  Apparently once he cut off the burnt coating, he said it was good.

The original plan was to have D take the kids to TKD and for me to go for my run after they got home.  He was looking a little rough, so I took the kids - did my run in the really nice area near their studio, and then came home to shower and have a glass of wine.  Before I left the house, I put these Band aid blister things on.  The blisters on my left foot aren't awful anymore, but there's one on my right that is still sore.  I put one of those blister barrier band aid thingies on it, and then my running shoes.  I could still feel it, but it wasn't bad enough to stop me from running. 

The run was great.  The first 10-15 minutes were a bit rough as I warmed up, but the rest was very enjoyable.  I listened to my audio book; book 5 in the series.  I ran in the direction of what I thought was a pretty subdivision I'd never run in before, but ended up on a long and empty road.  It was pretty and I could see the mcmansions, but mostly from a distance.  Mostly it was empty land...promises of a big and beautiful subdivision before the economy decided that excess was a bad thing.  Now it's just pretty green land.

I got home and took the band aid thingy off before getting in the shower.  It did a good job of keeping me from feeling my blister when I ran.  It also did a good job (insert sarcasm here) of ripping the healed skin right off my foot when I took it off.  So my blister sucks yet again.  I know.  Poor me :)

Now it's time to relax and get ready for bed.  Lots of meetings tomorrow and tons of work to get done.  Can't complain though, job security!

Tomorrow is a cross train day.  I'm going to take the kids to the Y for some Fitlinxx workouts and then swimming.  I'm fairly positive that D won't be coming to the gym with us for a couple of weeks.  But that's okay...when he's all better....I'll kick his butt into coming with us again!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

I Anticipated That the Injury to Sideline My Running Would Be a Bit More Glamourous

It's not that I want an injury at all...quite the contrary.  I've always been quite amazed that I have absolutely nothing wrong with me...and therefore no excuses to not move my butt.  Granted, I'll get a small twinge in my hip on occasion - which seems to be rectified almost entirely with my new running shoes, and my knee may feel a wee sore (though very rarely) after a really long run, but for the most part...nada. 

So what has me not running since Tuesday?  Blisters.  Wicked, nasty, raw, and bleeding blisters on the backs of my feet.  And what caused these blisters??  A pair of new high heels I bought when my sister in law was here back in April and finally decided to wear to work.  Of course, I didn't think to pack a back up pair (which I actually normally do if I'm going to wear a new pair of shoes for the first time).  It was also a day of many meetings and running all over the hospital, so it's not like I was just sitting behind my desk. 

I could feel them growing as the day went on, and took a brief trip to Walgreen's to buy band aids and blister barriers.  I'm sure they helped tremendously - I was able to walk in those shoes the rest of the day even though I wanted to cry every time my feet moved.  As soon as I got back to the van to head home, I took my shoes off and put them on the drivers seat.  I know at least in WI where I grew up, that it's illegal to drive without shoes on.  I'm not sure about the VA shoe law (I'm thinking with all our beaches, it's a bit more laid back), but just in case, I wanted those torture devices right there.

This leaves me with a terrible dilemma.  I can't wear any shoes with a back on them.  For work, I've been wearing dressy sandals, and anything else are strictly flip flops.  I get into the shower, and as soon as water hits them, it stings like someone is lighting the little round circles on my feet on fire.  This leaves me feeling mighty stupid that the reason I can't lace up real shoes is because of how much it's going to hurt my feet.  I really wanted to do my long run Friday, but there was no way.  Tomorrow I'm talking A and her boyfriend to Busch Gardens for the day, so am hoping that the evil blisters will heal enough by Sunday to allow me to wear shoes again.  If not...I'm going to be doing a lot of swimming and yoga.

Okay, time for something less dreary. 

This week was a bit atypical for both D and I. Typically, he takes the kids to TKD, but I took them both days this week.  He has Crohn's Disease, and has the beginnings of a new flare up.  It breaks my heart to see because he can be in such pain and can barely eat.  His doctor already put him on some new meds, so hopefully this round will be very short lived.  On Wednesday, I wasn't feeling too great either (though I've figured it out...it's the Vitamin D supplement that I started taking a few weeks ago...makes me sick as a dog), but I'm sure I was feeling better than D was!  Dinner was Arby's for the older two, D made sausages and cheesy noodly stuff for him and R (sense a theme here?  D has to make dinner on Monday, and it's hot dogs and mac and cheese...he has to make dinner on Wednesday, and it's a variation of the exact same meal!).

Work was good for me all week.  I've gotten a lot done, and that always is a good thing.

Thursday night I did some major grocery shopping; we were out of everything.  Dinner was an Italian pasta dish for D and the kids.  For me, I reheated some leftover brown basmati rice, threw in that Indian baked tofu I made but never used, and then dumped a ton of hot sauce on it.  It was good...so good in fact, that I also had that for breakfast on Friday!

Yesterday began the tax free weekend!  I bought all the school supplies for R and M (A doesn't have a list online) and some clothes.  I already mentioned my tofu and rice breakfast.  Lunch was a bowl of Vietnamese Pho Veggie Noodle Soup.  Dinner for me was the last of the coleslaw and then some popcorn.  I admit....my dinner was extraordinarily unbalanced.  I made an Indian chicken dinner with basmati rice and garlic naan that the rest of the family went wild over.  It's a recipe from a pressure cooker cookbook I recently acquired, and it's awesome.

Today will be another day at Busch Gardens.  I have 3-4 books that I'm trying to read, so I imagine I'll make a huge dent in those while A and N wander around the park.  Tomorrow I'll either be raving about my 10 mile run....or my hours doing hot yoga, running, and lifting weights.  I'm hoping for the run.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

How Is It a Toenail Can Grow Back and I DON'T Notice???

It's not like I don't LOOK at my feet every day.  I take at least one shower/bath per day - more on the days I workout (which is almost every day).  I see them when I put on socks or sandals.  I've very self consciously NOT put on toenail polish because I thought it would look weird at work and just draw attention to the fact that I only have 9...so imagine my surprise today when I was inspecting my blisters and calluses (I have several blisters- but I think they were actually caused by the shoes I wore to work yesterday, and not running...calluses are from running), and noticed that the nail was back!  And not just "growing back"...but a full sized and normal looking toenail.  It makes me want to buy cute shoes that shows off that fact the I have normal looking feet again.  That, and I like shoes.

Today was one of those days where I got excited about things at work.  My morning meeting was about a new technology we purchased, and I'm excited about it's potential in my service line.  My late morning meeting was with my CIO, which is never dull, and I always learn something cool and insightful.  Then I had lunch with D and and afternoon conference call.  The conf call was scattered and disorganized, but that's how they sometimes go. 

Breakfast was lentil chowder leftovers.  Lunch was a bean burrito at El Loro with D.  I haven't had dinner yet - I was really intending to finish the Indian Tofu wraps, but I'm thinking leftover lasagna will be my dinner being that it's already 815pm.  S made an herb dip to mix with olive oil - similar to Carrabba's - so that with some French bread rocks.

After everyone was home from work and other activities (school for A, hanging with friends for M, and daycare for R), it was time to saddle up for the Y.  D is on call and wasn't comfortable going to the gym in case he got paged (weak excuse to me, but I can sorta see his point since we don't get Sprint cards anymore for on-call).  M was interested in furthering his workout experience by getting better at pull-ups.  There's a pull up machine that the trainer there showed him how to use, so he did that in addition to his Fitlinxx.  Very proud of him...I want my kids to be used to exercise now and find it a regular part of their lives.  It sucks being in my 30's and learning to love healthy eating and exercise now....and it's been a painful journey.  We didn't know then what we know now....and in the 80's, what we new of exercise amounted to Jane Fonda and Jazzercise...not exactly inspiring to a kid.  The country went through high carb diets, low carb diets, cabbage soup diets, Mayo clinic diets...and what I've learned through the years is that it's ALL crap (I should know, I tried most of them and stayed at a very unhealthy 185 lbs).  Healthy eating isn't hard...eat as close to the earth as possible (meaning food in it's natural state and not processed to hell and back), spice it up without adding fat...and your taste buds come back - you can actually taste food again without a pound of salt and a gallon of oil.  Sorry if I'm getting preachy...I certainly don't mean to.  I just think as a society we're all screwed (and our health care system right along with it - which is close to my heart) until we figure out that we're killing ourselves with food.  I've read two incredible books in the past year - one about the science of the American food industry, and one called the The China Study, which was a fascinating long term study of diet and the impact on health - and really went into the diseases of affluence vs. the diseases of poverty.  We suffer mainly from diseases of affluence; diabetes, heart disease, cancer....and we're eating ourselves to death.

Wow.  Can't believe I actually went there!  I try to keep my blog entries light hearted, but I guess this got the better of me.  Apologize for those who read for amusement!

When I finished logging my workout into Fitlinxx at the Y, the screen started exploding into fireworks and saying "congratulations, you've reached 15,000 fit points!!".  What my kids had to explain to me was that it was some type of milestone, and I got a pair of free socks!  I guess with Fitlinxx, you get prizes for each number of points you earn, and you earn points by exercising.  I'm gunning for the umbrella personally.  I have a strange love of umbrellas.  I think R has inherited this love.  We run outside whenever it drizzles just to use our umbrellas.  Anyway, back to my socks.  The first "pair" that Y guy gave me were two different sizes.  The second pair were huge and way too big for my feet.  I'm "gifting" them to D since he's a size 14 and finding him socks involves either a special trip to Williamsburg and the Nike store where they carry size 22 shoes and therefore socks, the Big and Tall store (which is funny because they don't cater to Big and Skinny - which is D), or online - where Google directs me to websites for transvestites.  So....socks for D are kinda a big deal in my family.

I got home, finished up part of dinner for D and the kids (taco night), D finished the rest, and I took to the bath with a glass of wine.  It's now 845pm and I have yet to eat (and knowing me, won't).  No one elses fault but mine tonight - the lasagna is cooked (though I've been having it for most meals), but it's getting late and if I eat now, I won't sleep.  There's always my vat of coleslaw....

Oh...I almost forgot....my book!  I only have 30 ish minutes left, and I think I may just listen to is tomorrow or tonight before bed to get it finished - mainly because I have 4 miles of sprints to run tomorrow, and don't want to worry about running out of book.  It's good!  Fight scene is over, and really only one of the good werewolves died.  Suki's brother has been recovered, and there's definitely "sequel" material going on.  I don't wanna give away too much in case anyone chooses to read these books.  I'm loving them though, and am afraid I'll run out before the marathon and have to fall in love equally with another book series.  Or I'll have to save the last book for the run, and then D will be ahead of me and that will bug me (but he doesn't wait for exercising....he listens to the books whenever he gets a free moment, so it's hard to compete with that!).

Okay...it's 853 pm now and I think I'll have a small coleslaw sandwich.  I just hope I can sleep later....

Monday, August 2, 2010

I Received an "I Told You So" as an Adult...from my Parent!

Yesterday, I was a cooking fool! 

My 2 new cookbooks arrived on Saturday; the Candle Cafe cookbook and the Mediterranean cookbook.  I made a Vegan lasagna with eggplant and zucchini from the Candle Cafe book as well as a Lentil Chowder with potato, butternut squash, carrots, onions, and celery, and some marinated Indian flavored tofu - to make into wraps with black eyed peas, roasted bell peppers, onions, and rice.  From the Mediterranean cookbook, I made a Sun dried tomato Italian beer bread.  I also made a beef stew.

Whilst I was cooking away, D was out and about running errands.  M went to the mall with some friends and D played chauffeur.  He also bought me some bath salts and a newspaper!  Such a great guy.

Of course I had way too much food, so D stopped at S's house on his way to the mall to pick up our son, and delivered a batch of the lentil chowder and half the bread.  What did her husband ask??  DOES IT HAVE BACON?  Nope!  No bacon here.  Then today I get a message from him that it was tasty...but he would have liked some stew meat.  Ugh.  :)

I fully enjoyed Sunday for the 'rest day' that it was.  I got to cook, mostly stay home all day, and just relax. It was in the 70's, raining, and probably the most beautiful day we've had in weeks!  By the end of the evening, D and I were dancing in the living room and giggling.

So my dad calls me last night...I say hello...and he says (I'm paraphrasing a bit)..."Of COURSE blueberries and mushrooms aren't awful!". Before he actually said hello!  I had to crack up because that means he's reading my blog entries!  And I got one big "I told you so" now that I'm eating them.  He then informed me that my sister doesn't eat blueberries either.  I can just imagine how he felt thinking his two daughters don't like one of his favorite fruits.  Probably the same way my mother felt when she discovered that both of her daughters liked beer.  Depressed! 

Today was a good day.  I was at the hospital all day for meetings, and they all mostly went well.  I'm grateful that I have a fun and challenging job at a company that treats me very well.  I sometimes forget how lucky I am with that, and don't want to ever take that for granted.

Breakfast was a cup of black coffee and some Irish steel cut oatmeal with blueberries.

I brought my lunch with me, which was a little leftover lasagna and I made up an interesting sandwich, that I was very excited about!  I put hummus on a wrap, and topped it with coleslaw!  It was really quite tasty.  Since I have a double batch of it, I'll have to get creative.  I figure it was very healthy and it was certainly filling.

I got home from work, made a soy latte, and took off for my 40 minute scheduled run.  It was 82 degrees (which was awesome), but 100% humidity, so that was tough.  I was sweatier than a run on a hot day with low humidity.  It took me forever to dry out!  I was afraid to sit on any of my furniture for fear of leaving a butt imprint!  I wore my pink shoes.  I really have to keep track of that because I've been forgetting.

D asked if I would take the kids to TKD tonight.  I had gotten my run done early enough where I could.  I haven't taken them for a bit and it was neat to see how much they've progressed.  Of course, I told D that he had to figure out dinner then.  He and the kids ate macaroni and cheese with hot dogs.  I'm going to the hell parents go to for feeding their kids crap.  I ate leftover lasagna again.

So that's it.  We're all home and cleaned up and winding down our day.  I have a few big meetings tomorrow, but nothing that I'm worried about.  Tomorrow night is a cross train night, so that means Fitlinxx at the Y with the family after work.  I'm hoping my workout takes an hour and twenty-five minutes.  That's all of my current audio book I have left, and my run ended today right in the middle of a major fight scene (between werewolves, vampires, witches, and a telepath).  I can't express how much fun this book series is...and the fact that I won't listen unless exercising gets me all the more motivated!