Monday, November 29, 2010


I'm about 3/4 through the school day, and I still feel like crawling back into bed. It's painful trying to get back to the grind after such an awesome Thanksgiving weekend.

We had a half-day Wednesday, so I had plenty of time for a long workout at the gym, and was able to get all my laundry done. Thursday started off with a nice 5-miler with some strides tossed in for good measure.

The Huz and I headed up to my brother's house for dinner. Of the three of us, my brother, John, is truly the family guy. He's got the big house, two kids, dog... the whole package. And he's awesome at it. I feel like he is everything that our Dad wasn't and I am so proud of everything he has become. Despite the fact that he deep-fried a turkey in his front yard.

There were eleven of us in total for dinner, and we had a great time. My nephews are now 7 and 4, and they are a hoot! Even though I don't want any kids of my own, they certainly do make the holidays so much more fun!

Lots of wine and good food was consumed. The Huz and I brought our traditional holiday stump. My sister-in-law made her now famous pumpkin-gingerbread trifle, to which the other pies and stuff couldn't hold a candle...

Friday was a lazy morning - I blame the wine. I had a lot of trouble ungluing my ass from the couch and the awesome movie marathon on Lifetime. Eventually I showered and then we headed south to my in-laws for round 2. It was a really nice visit, and good to spend the evening with his parents and brother.

Saturday morning was my long run and I managed to pull this out of somewhere:


And yesterday after an easy 3-miler, I hopped on my bike. The weather was gorgeous, but I was freezing and had to cut it short after about an hour and a half. Today my legs are genuinely tired and will enjoy a rest day.

Not sure what caused it, but I woke up around 12:30 last night with tremendous gas pressure in my stomach. It was literally pressing on something and I felt like I was having a heart attack or something. I know it was gas because it kind of... worked its way out. But I had trouble falling back to sleep, and I still don't feel 100%. Hope it's just a passing thing [pun intended].


Sunday, November 21, 2010


God, I love weekends.

I hope I'm not jinxing myself when I say I honestly can't remember a time in my life when I have been happier. 30's really do rock. I guess it helps having an amazing husband and fur-son.

This weekend started like most. The Huz & I went for dinner Friday night after work. We kept it simple: hit the local diner because I had been craving a panini all week. We figured diners must have paninis, and sure enough, there was one on the menu. Sadly, it ended up being a lame excuse for a panini. They threw some grilled veggies and cheese in a pita and warmed it up. Damn it. I guess the quest will have to continue this week.

Saturday morning I got in a great 10-miler in 1:31. I couldn't believe my pace! I actually managed an 8:39 for mile 8 and I told myself out loud, Slow the hell down! I really hope this improvement is the result of good training and not a fluke.

In the afternoon, I met up with a friend and we caught a bus into the city. We had an amazing dinner at a place called Swizz. I don't know why it didn't occur to me that it was a Swiss place (the name might've tipped me off) but I was pretty jazzed when I saw all the different fondues on the menu.

I had a little flashback to my last trip to Switzerland and all the glorious fondue in which we partook. Ahh...

Sorry. I digress...

So last night we shared a standard cheese fondue Provencale with fresh herbs, and also a traditional Swiss Raclette, which was to die for. I may have had two glasses of Pinot Noir. We also ordered entrees, but ended up eating just a little bit and taking the rest with us. After all, we had to save room for the dark chocolate fondue. Well hell, at least I could justify it all after my run!

After dinner, we walked a block over to this little theater to catch a very strange show. My friend knew one of the guys in the cast. The play was held in a tiny theatre on the 12th floor of this building. Here's my foot... right on the "stage."

It was definitely a different experience, but it beat sitting home on the couch. The weather was beautiful, and we took our time heading through Times Square to Port Authority. I got home just before midnight and slept like a rock.

Sunday's been great. Took an easy run, went shopping with The Huz, and just baked a batch of pumpkin granola bars. Now I'm chilling with a Punk'd, the greatest beer ever brewed. Looking forward to a short workweek and the start of the holiday season. Life is good.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Well hey! Sorry if I left you hanging about Friday's long run. The good news is, I did 12 miles in 1:50. That means I could have run my first sub-2:00 half-marathon, and would have, if I wasn't so anal about sticking to my training plan! I'm must say, I'm pretty happy with my pace these days, and hope it's a result of proper training and nutrition, and not just some fluke.

The even better news is that Zico seemed to work very well for me. I brought my sloshy fuel belt (which I hate because it always makes me feel like I'm rockin' the 80s belted-shirt fashion)

But I'll sacrifice style for hydration any day.

Zico's got a very mild taste. It's nothing like the "coconut" flavor you'll find in a Mounds bar or anything. It's cultivated from young coconuts and is clear (hence: coconut water) instead of milky. If you wanna learn all about it's nutritional info, feel free to click on the link.

I'd had coconut water a couple times in India. Street vendors sell fresh coconut for a couple rupees and they look like this:

My friend, Rajiv, sucking a coconut

On my run, I drank about 4 ounces every 3 miles. I guess the downside of training with coconut water is that it's unlikely to be the beverage served at aid stations in Austin. I don't think I wanna be the "80s Marathon Runner", so I'll have to figure this out as the race draws nearer.

Friday, November 05, 2010


I'm sitting here watching three crows tear apart the neighbor's garbage. I guess the neighborly thing to do would be to chase them away and clean it up. But I saw my stupid neighbor walk out her front door, glance at the mess, and just keep walking. So I figure, screw her. How very un-Mr. Rogers of me.

I'm also procrastinating. I'm planning to run 12 miles today instead of tomorrow, and am waiting for breakfast to digest a little bit. The Huz's brother is getting married tomorrow, and I have learned from past experience that putting dressy shoes on after a long run isn't all that pleasant. And anyway, I'm off from school yesterday and today for the teachers' convention, so I figured I'd just get it over with today.

I only recently began eating breakfast before long runs, and cannot believe the difference it has made in my energy and endurance levels! I guess it makes sense to stock up the reserves. I can't run right away, though, as I tend to get stomach cramps, so I wait about 2 hours. But two slices of Ezekiel toast with almond butter and a banana + a cup of coffee = nice results!

Yesterday was a good day. I went over and hung out with my Mom, which is something I don't do nearly enough of anymore. We hit up Target, and then bought some stuff to make soup. We drank some wine while I put together a bitchin' pot of vegetable soup (yes, I did just use the word bitchin') and just kind of caught up on life. It was perfect rainy-day bonding.

I guess I am just about ready to set out on my run. I am experimenting with Zico coconut water today, and will let you know how that goes. Until next time...

Wednesday, November 03, 2010


Claire Kowalchik was right: speed training works.

Over the past few months, I have been incorporating speedwork into my weekly runs. During the summer, I started doing track workouts, and I hated them with a passion. I don't know why, but the thought of running 400s, 800s & 1200s around a high school track just made me... angry.

I've been running for over 10 years now, and have been successfully maintaining a plateau for about ... well, 9 of those years. I guess having come into running in my early 20s, I never really expected much of myself. I think that when I initially considered adding speedwork, a battle began in my head that went something like this:

MIND: "Hey, maybe if we work a little harder, we can get faster."
BODY: "Shut up. We're fine."
MIND: "Yeah, but, we spend all this time running and haven't improved much in like, ten years... just sayin'..."
BODY: "Shut UP. Running fast is difficult and makes me uncomfortable."
MIND: "Yeah, I guess. And I probably won't get faster anyway."
BODY: "Exactly. After this tedious shuffle is over, let's get ice cream, okay?"
MIND: "... yeah."

I guess any time we push ourselves outside our comfort zones, we get a little uncomfortable - physically and mentally. I guess it's just about getting over the mental hurdle.

Doing the interval training yielded positive results. I'm not sure if it was more mental than physical (or a little bit of both) but I ran my fastest 5K last month. After 10 years, I broke 26 minutes and finished in 25:21. That made me really happy. And so I have now committed to doing at least one speed session a week as I prepare for the Austin Marathon.

Yesterday I did 4 miles worth of intervals on the treadmill while watching Oprah. After a mile warmup, I did a "ladder" workout of: 400, 800, 1200, 800, 400, 400 - with 400 recoveries in between each push. I did these at 7.3 (8:13 pace) with a 1% incline. I did the last 400 at an 8:00 pace. I was sweating like a beast afterwards. Including the warmup, I'd run 5 miles in under 45 minutes. For me, this is huge.

My long run pace is improving. Last weekend I did 10 miles with an average pace of 9:12. Again, huge for me. I guess the moral of the story - and of this long-winded post - is that every now and then, it's okay to leave the comfort zone. And not just when it comes to running, but life in general. Common sense. Great advice. Sometimes easier said than done.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010


Blah. I've hit the dreaded "Wall of Boredom" at last. I guess I've finally settled into the school year enough to remember how mundane it becomes. Sadly, we're not even through September yet. Usually it takes me until at least the third week of October to start feeling this way.

It may also have to do with the fact that it's been dreary and rainy the past two days. Our cross country meet was cancelled yesterday, and today's practice doesn't look too promising. It was actually kind of nice having the afternoon free yesterday. I went over to the Y and did some cross-training.

I eked out 30 minutes on the elliptical while watching Oprah, and then spent half an hour swimming laps in the pool. It had been nearly two months since I'd done any kind of swimming, and I was amazed at how much fitness I'd already lost! That half hour kicked my ass, but I slept incredibly well last night.

I used my tofu press for the first time. I'd left the block of tofu in overnight and marinated & baked it in the toaster oven. Not bad, but I would definitely slice it thinner next time before baking it. Served it up with some quinoa and stir-fried veggies. Due to a power outage, The Huz had an unexpected evening off work, so we had some couch+TV time. *sigh* I wish I was on the couch right now instead of chained to my desk here at school.

I haven't seen my Mom in over a week, so I made plans to head over there for dinner tonight. Maybe I'll try and bang out a few miles after school in the rain.

Is it Friday yet?

Sunday, September 26, 2010


Here it is, Sunday again. A whole week has gone by already? I find myself savoring Sundays like never before. Here's a little recap of the week:

School: I've started up the period 0 band rehearsals on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. This means that I'm out of the house and over at school before 7:00 AM. You'd think that after 12 years this would get easier. It never does. Fortunately, I have great kids this year and they really bring me to life. I guess if I have to be up that early, it's a great way to start the day.

Cross country: We had a good week. Our first meet was Monday and we ended up running against two other schools. Both of the other teams were small, so we annihilated them. I think it was a nice way to start the season!

The rest of the week consisted of practices. I had them do a long run day on Tuesday; speed workout on Wednesday; hill repeats on Thursday; and since they worked hard all week, we played Yahooty! for "Fun Friday." The temperatures were wicked for most of the week - 90's in September? But the kids didn't complain. Much.

My own running: I managed to log 20.5 miles this week, despite the hectic schedule and lousy weather. I bumped up yesterday's long run to 8 miles. I'd planned to hit the water fountain around the halfway point, but decided to change up my route. I ended up running the entire distance without a water break, which really suuucked.

At one point, I got a little desperate and stuck my face into someone's lawn sprinkler. Wow, those high pressure jets hurt! But I managed to wet my throat a little, and I think it gave me the jolt I needed.

Other stuff: Yesterday afternoon I went to my nephew's first karate tournament. He's a 7 year-old yellow belt, so the competition wasn't too fierce. It was fun to hang out with my brother & his wife, and to see Bean do his thing. Again though, 90˚ weather in September + hundreds of stinky karate feet = .... gross.

Next weekend is the Rotary 5K, for which I am a co-director. Hoping we get a decent showing, although the morons at the Daily Rag got the date wrong in today's paper. Big surprise there.

And finally, my tofu press came in the mail this week! I can't wait to try it out. Huz & I went for Thai food at a new place Friday night and their tofu was terrible! Mushy and gross. Blah. I know I can do better. Will let you know how that turns out.

In case I don't make it back 'til next Sunday - which is all too likely - have a great week!

Sunday, September 19, 2010


Today I am granting myself permission to be lazy. That is, until the guilt and boredom set in.

It's been a whirlwind week. After the two-week stuttered start, the school year was in full swing. I got all my kids signed up for Band (101 this year - woo hoo!) got their folders made, schedules done, meetings, etc. We also had cross country practice every day after school (which is an absolute blast) and I seemed to have some sort of evening obligation every night except for Friday.

Yesterday I ran my first "real-feeling" long run since... well, I don't even remember. But it's been a while. I set out to do 7 miles and ended up doing exactly 7.75 in 1:14. I was pretty okay with that. It felt awesome, and I think my body is finally remembering how to run again.

Naturally, I was full of energy after the run so I tackled housecleaning like it was my job. I despise cleaning the bathroom, but it had to be done. I know it's time when being in the shower skeeves me out. While I was at it, I vacuumed the rest of the house - including the stairs - so my lower back had quite the workout.

I didn't stop there. I did about 7 loads of laundry, designed the t-shirt for the upcoming 5K, and visited my Mom. By the time I got back home around 5:00, I was done. The Huz and I went out for Thai food (and WINE) and then came back, couched-out and watched some Dexter.

As is typical when I run long, I didn't sleep very well. It's maddening because my body is so tired - maybe too tired - and I toss and turn. Although I stayed up 'til almost midnight, I was up by 6:30 this morning, ravenously hungry from yesterday's activity.

Anyway, as I said earlier in the post, I'm giving myself permission to be lazy today. Case in point, I am back in bed after having a leisurely breakfast. I'm pretty sure that I'll get bored soon enough and be out and about - it's who I am. But for now, I'll pretend I can relax.

Friday, September 03, 2010


I think the coolest part of my job is seeing the growth of each kid over the 3-year middle school span. Unlike most classroom teachers, I get to keep kids for all three years unless they:
1. Move away
2. Decide they're too cool and quit Band or
3. Hate me (and quit Band)

It's amazing how they change over time. September is always fun because a lot of them have growth spurts over the summer. They leave me in June looking like little boys and girls, and then they come back looking like... teenagers.

I think teaching middle school keeps me young - mentally and physically. There's definitely something to surrounding yourself with positive energy, and there is so much vitality in a horde of 'tweens! I bet it would be an excellent source of green energy. Maybe someday they'll figure out how to harness 'tween spirit and use it instead of coal, oil and gasoline.

These are just some of the thoughts I had today, while on 8th grade lunch duty.

In other news, my ass is sore as hell. I did manage to sneak into the gym yesterday, and did quite a bit of weight training. Including three sets of squats, the reason for my aforementioned ass pain. I really should do those more often. Judging by the pain, I'd say they work pretty well. No pain, no gain -- right?

Thursday, September 02, 2010


Zzzzzzz.... *yawn*
"Huh? Oh yeah... Hi."

First day is dreadfully slow and boring for me. I can't believe this is the same day. It feels like I have been here for a week and it's still not even 2:36.

With the schedule the way it is, kids don't get the chance to sign up for electives (ie: Band) until Monday the 13th, and therefore, I don't technically get to see my kids until the 15th. So really, I am still on summer vacation. Sort of. Except that I have to be here in the school building and do awful things like lunch duty.

But at least I am getting organized. This morning I cleaned out my desk drawers for the first time in many years. I found lots of old photos and letters from kids who are probably in college now (or out of college -- gah!) I also found loads of dust, dirt and grime. Thank God for Lysol disinfecting wipes. What the hell did we do before their invention?

So anyway, I'm bored. I have to hang out for another half hour or so because I'm meeting with the former cross country coach and he's gonna edumacate me on all I need to know to start off the season. He's finally retired after over 40 years of teaching. The same class. In the SAME SCHOOL. Crazy, huh? I wonder if I'll make it that long without going insane.

No big plans for the evening. Hus is working late so I am on my own. I should probably get over to the gym to do a light recovery run and some weights.

I have been pulling the wool over the eyes of my former gym (do gyms have eyes?) I cancelled my membership over the summer so I could return to the YMCA (and the pool). Unfortunately, the Y goes through a 2-week annual shutdown every summer, so I am currently without a place to work out.

Luckily, the Huz still has a membership with my former gym - and a keytag! They are the kind of gym where you swipe yourself in. So despicable me has been using the Huz's keytag - and getting away with it! I just hope none of the little desk girls looks up at the screen. They're not the brightest crew, but I have a feeling they'd notice I'm not a bald man with a goatee.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010


Year #12 of teaching started off with... well, not really a bang - more of a whimper. A running-induced whimper, that is.

I rolled out of bed at 6:00 am and I wasn't feeling top-notch. I had that low grade fever vibe all day yesterday and it continued throughout the night with wacky dreams and night sweats. But I got up and headed down to the local high school track for some speedwork, hoping I could knock whatever it was out of my system.

My training plan called for 2x400s; 1x800 & 2x400s. The first two 400s went well, but after the 800, I felt like quitting. Then I reminded myself that it's okay to push yourself out of the comfort zone - especially during speedwork. If you don't make yourself go faster, you'll never become a faster runner. So I pushed.

And I finished! And I felt incredible for the rest of the day. Lesson learned.

Since it was a teachers-only day, I basically sat in orientation meetings from 9:00-1:00. It was nice seeing everyone again. I think it's the first year that I have 0% anxiety about starting off. I have to say, mid-30's really rock! I am the most comfortable I have ever been in my skin and it's just a really great, balanced feeling.

Did some errands with the Huz after school (he was off from work for a doctor's appointment) and then made a kickass dinner involving these amazing creations. Oh Morningstar Farms, I don't wanna know what's in them, just promise you'll keep coming up with new and delicious products for me.

Afterwards, I cut up a canary melon that I'd bought at a roadside farm stand this weekend. The dude at the stand described it as a cross between honeydew and cantaloupe.

Oh. My. God. Absolutely the sweetest and most amazing melon I have ever tasted. If you happen to see one of these, BUY IT! Wait until it turns an almost golden brown on the outside and then it's ready.

Alright, that's all I got. Kids tomorrow. Bring 'em on!

Monday, August 30, 2010


Just got back from the annual "Roadtrip with Mom." This year we took a drive down to a winery in south Jersey.

I think I may have turned into a bit of a wine snob after my trip through Napa this summer, as I wasn't particularly impressed with any of the ones I tasted today. Mom's big on the sweet wines, and one of the raspberry ones tasted like Nyquil. Which is what I told the classy woman that was pouring the wines. Into the plastic cups.

It was nice taking a ride and spending the day with Mom. We used to take all kinds of summer roadtrips together: Delaware, Maine, Maryland. One time we drove all the way to Cincinnati so I could take a college audition. These days, we usually just do day-trips. We talked a lot and it was great to catch up on stuff.

We stopped for lunch at this incredibly huge diner which makes these amazing cheese and cinnamon breads...

So. Damn. Good.

In other news, I managed a decent 5-mile run yesterday. I hate that I currently consider 5 miles a "long run." It seems like the double digit days were so long ago, and it hasn't even been a year since the Marine Corps Marathon. Amazing how quickly one can lose distance fitness. Ah well. We build slowly, right?

And tomorrow is my last official day of summer vacay. I think I shall stare at the clock, mourning each passing second. Sigh.

Friday, August 27, 2010


As summer winds down and I get ready for another year of school, I reflect on what an amazing summer it's been.

It started off at the end of June with a 10-day trip up the California coast with my BFF, Lisa. We flew out to San Diego and drove up through San Francisco.

After California, I came home and had 2 weeks of an awesome summer music program at school, while training for - and completing! - my first sprint triathlon...

And what better way to wrap it all up than a honeymoon in Aruba? A week with the love of my life in paradise...

By far, one of the best summers I've ever had.

But out of all the traveling and 'doing' that I did, my favorite part - and what I'll miss most of all - are the quiet mornings at home.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


Hello again! It's been a while, I know, but this time I actually do have a valid excuse. The Huz and I finally took our honeymoon! We spent a week in lovely Aruba at the Marriott Surf Club.

We were pretty active between snorkeling, wind surfing and swimming. I also managed to keep up my running - logging around 20 miles for the week - albeit on the boring hotel treadmill. It was an awesome trip, definitely worth the 2-year wait!

As nice as it was to be away, it's so great being back home. We missed the cat terribly, and there's nothing like sleeping in your own bed (even if it isn't a sweet king bed with a lush duvet *sigh* maybe someday...) Aruba's not the easiest place to find decent vegetarian fare, though there were no shortages of Brazilian steakhouses or churrascarias serving you giant spits of carcass. We ended up eating a lot of ethnic: Thai, Indian, Mexican, Japanese. No complaints from me!

While on vacay, I read this book. Although it's been sitting on my bookshelf for the past five years, I never really cracked it open. I'm glad I did, as it was really great. I learned a lot about speed training, VO2 max, and lots of other stuff I had written off as too complicated, advanced and boring for me. The author really explained everything bare bones. Good stuff.

This morning I set out on my first round of speed training in a long time. I headed down to the local high school track and ran four sets of 400s (in the pouring rain) at a pace which I hope will allow me to break my 5K PR in October. We shall see!

Other than that, I'm just wrapping things up for the summer. School starts up again on September 1, and the kiddies are back on the 2nd. I'm looking forward to a great year. Can I really be starting my 12th year of teaching?! Gaah, I'm old!

But definitely looking forward to a great year. Psyched about being head coach for the cross-country team, and planning lots of exciting adventures for my little band nerds. And so the fun begins... again!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


As I was having my coffee this morning, a photo in the local paper caught my attention.

Normally I just skim over the world news page - it's always all just horrible. Murders, war casualties, celebrities doing bad things. But this photo struck me. I looked at the faces of the people and tried to imagine the horror of their situation. I tried to put myself in their place.

Every day I take so much for granted. Not just the basics - food, clean water, clothing - but also the extravagances. Things like air conditioning, WiFi speed and $10/jar almond butter.

If I hit a red light on the way from my expensive health club to my comfortable townhouse, I bitch. If Facebook won't load in the first three seconds, I get impatient. You get the point.

This photo made me think about how unfair the world can be. One minute, these folks in China were probably on their way home from school or to the market when WHAM! their worlds were thrown upside down.

In an instant they went from worrying about being late and missing the first scene at the movies - to watching their house tumble down and wondering if their 4 year-old child managed to get out alive.

Life is so precious. I wish I could remember that more often, and be grateful for every breath I am allowed as a healthy person, living a comfortable existence.

Monday, August 09, 2010


I did it! I am now officially a triathlete!

Yesterday's race was awesome. Rather than bore anyone with a detailed race recap, I'll just say that the whole event seemed to fly by. I find that's a sign that things went well. Even with concerts and stuff, when I can barely remember them, that usually means they went well.

Also, I wasn't terribly nervous - just excited. Usually for races, I wake up feeling terrified and stay terrified all the way to the starting line. Standing at the water's edge yesterday, I just felt a surge of excitement! I knew I was well-prepared for the swim. And I held my own in the water - even if I didn't break any speed records. I didn't get tired at all, and was to the shore before I knew it.

The bike portion was a breeze. The course was super-flat and I cruised along with a huge smile on my face. The run was a little less pleasant. My legs were stiff as hell from the bike, but I pressed on. I ended up finishing with an official time of 1:20:46. Considering my goal was to finish in under two hours, I was very satisfied.

It was a very well-run event. Having co-directed the Rotary 5K for the past two years, I know what a pain in the ass it is to get things to run smoothly. I can't imagine how much must go into organizing a triple event like that, which drew more than 700 participants. Props to the event organizers.

And props to the dear Huz for being by my side - once again - as I reached a goal. While I train alone for these events, they would mean nothing without having him waiting for me at the finish line. For him, I am so very grateful.

Saturday, August 07, 2010


Last night, the Huz and I babysat for my two nephews, ages 7 and 4. We're not planning on having kids of our own because, well... we just don't like them very much. And anyway, my nephews are the two cutest kids in the universe. Even if we tried to have kids, they could, in no way, compare to these guys.

The oldest ("Bean") is big into karate. He recently earned his yellow belt and attends class three times per week. He's not the most coordinated kid in terms of throwing, catching or kicking a ball, but karate suits him well. I think he enjoys the structure and the discipline. They say that kids crave structure and discipline, and I think most adults do, too. I know I do.

For instance, I have not even finished tomorrow's triathlon and I am already trying to figure out what's next on my race agenda. I am registered to do a 45-mile bike ride in September, but that doesn't require much training. I love biking. It's super easy for me, and the only thing I anticipate is a sore ass the day after the ride.

A friend of mine put a bug in my head the other day. She's the same friend who convinced me to sign up for my first marathon in 2006. She's planning to run the Austin, TX marathon in February with her daughter and thinks I should do it with them.

Damn it.

First I was like, "No way! I would hate training all winter when it's cold and dark and I have school, etc. etc." But maybe that's exactly why I should do this race. Winters are brutal for me. I tend to go into hibernation mode, which involves getting into my pajamas by 5:00 in the evening and setting up camp on the couch.

And carbs. Lots of warm, sweet, lucious... carbs.

Now that the Huz has a private practice, he is not home until after 8:00 most nights. This is okay in the summer because there's plenty for me to do. But in the winter? Hmm... recipe for disaster.

So I think I am leaning a little towards a February marathon. I think what really sealed the deal was a conversation I had with Bean last night. We were looking at one of the kids' placemats which had a map of the U.S. on it. We were going through all the states that we'd each been to. He pointed to the biggest of the states and said,

"That's Texas. I really wanna go to Texas!"
"Yeah? Why is that?" I asked
"I dunno. But I really wanna go to Texas!"

Damn it.

Friday, August 06, 2010


Yesterday I did something that made me feel really good. Twice.

No, you pervert. Get your mind out of the gutter.

Back in April I bought a road bike. I had been enjoying the spring weather on my goofy hybrid (it really is goofy... it looks like this:)

One sunny day, I was huffing and puffing it up a big hill when this older guy on a road bike cruised by me effortlessly.
"I gotta get me one of those!" I gasped.
"You really do. It makes all the difference in the world."
That was all it took. A few days later, my impulsive ass was at the bike shop and I was on my way to this:

After several glorious rides (and much prodding from my IronMan triathlete pal, Dan) I registered for my first sprint distance triathlon. The only problem? I didn't really know how to swim.

I grew up in a lake community. I vividly remember having my first swim lesson when I was around five years old. The instructor told me to lay on my stomach and we were going to practice the "dead man's float." That lesson was also my last. I remember crying in the car about how much I hated it, and so my mom didn't really push me to continue. My swim career was short-lived.

Flash forward about 25 years. I signed up at the Y to take some adult swim lessons. They were very helpful. I learned some very basic strokes and gained confidence in the water. I think I was the star of the class! Then again, my colleagues were two Chinese women who refused to put their faces in the water, and an old Indian man in a Speedo.

Here I am - five years later - and I am determined to become a proficient swimmer. Last month I signed back up at the Y and began swimming about three times per week. It was hard as hell in the beginning. I could barely go two laps of freestyle without gasping for breath and feeling like my heart was going to explode. How can this be so hard for someone who runs marathons?

My awesome cousins, who live on a local lake, hooked me up with one of their neighbors - a feisty little fireplug of a girl! A law student and former competitive swimmer, Amie enthusiastically agreed to coach me. The first time we met up was at my cousin's house. I think they had forewarned her about my ability, because she showed up with one of those pool noodles.

At the pool, I had increased my freestyle distance to about 100 yds before switching to breaststroke for a couple laps. This past weekend, Amie encouraged me to try and swim freestyle as far as I could. She said I'd never get stronger if I didn't push myself to go farther, and I'd never know how far I could go if I didn't let myself try.

Wise words.

Had I not tried, I never would've realized that I am able to swim the full 1/4 mile of freestyle. Yesterday I did it twice. And that felt amazing. I think I might kick this triathlon's ass.

Thursday, August 05, 2010


Wow. I could've had a baby in the time since I last blogged. Don't worry though, I didn't.

And rather than make excuses for why I haven't blogged, or give you some lame updates about what I've been doing during the past 9 months, here are five random things about my day today:

1. There's an old man who swims laps in the slow lane of the pool at the Y. He arrives every morning (at least, the mornings I am there) at 8:00 a.m. and puts on his snorkel mask. Then he proceeds to creep along like one of those 200-year old sea turtles, back and forth. I don't like swimming in the lane next to him - and I definitely won't share his lane - because I don't know what his motive is for wearing the snorkel mask.

2. I put in a work order to have the toilet seat fixed in my bathroom. A cute, young maintenance kid came to replace it. After about five minutes, he informed me that he'd gotten the wrong color - bone instead of white - and that he'd be back soon to replace it. In the meantime, could I deal with the color?
"Hell yes," I replied. "This way I won't have to clean it and no one will know!"

3. The fact that bone is a color kind of grosses me out.

4. I spent about 45 minutes cleaning a food processor that my in-laws gave us last year. It's been sitting in its box in the garage. I've been a little afraid to deal with it, but we have six really ripe peaches and I found this great recipe for making peach sorbet (which requires a food processor).

After cleaning all the blades and containers, etc., I no longer felt like making sorbet. I thought about packing up the food processor and maybe selling it on eBay. Then I realized that I had recycled the box about an hour before. I also realized I have absolutely no room in any kitchen cabinet to store the damn thing. So I wrapped it all up in plastic ShopRite bags and put it under the sink it the cat's bathroom - the last inch of free storage space in the whole house.

5. Yes, our cat has his own bathroom. Don't worry, he hasn't got a tub.