Monthly Archives: September 2010

Wildly Inappropriate Airport Guy

I walked into my front door at 1am on Saturday from my trip back to VA. Our flight from Madison was delayed, but fortunately not so much so that we missed the connection in Detroit.

Speaking of Detroit, I had an encounter with a very strange old man. I was wearing my In My Mind I’m a Kenyan t-shirt, and sat down in the gate area of my departing flight.  I was just getting my phone out to call D to let him know I made the connection on time, when this older gentleman started talking to me about my shirt.  He asked why I was wearing it, and I explained that I ran, and was doing my first full marathon in 2 weeks, and I was wearing it for inspiration.  He then started trying to quiz me about the biology of why Kenyan’s run fast, of which I was pretty appalled.  I just said that I was in admiration of the athletic prowess that I do not naturally posses, and I found the shirt inspiring.  Plus, it’s funny.  I was trying desperately to end the entire conversation without being overly rude, but I was starting to get really annoyed.

He then starts going on about how it’s an obvious reference to President Obama.  At this point all my “respect for elders” attitude flew out the window.  I looked at him, told him he was WAY over thinking my t-shirt, and that I’ve had it since before our President was elected, so there is in no way, shape, or form any possible reference to one man in particular.  He kept babbling about how it really is a glaring comparison.  I told him to have a nice flight, and got up and walked away.

I boarded my flight, and sat back to read.  We landed on time, picked up my luggage, and then spent a half hour making my way to the long term parking lot to get my car.

On the way home I actually had to stop at the grocery store.  When I spoke to my youngest the day before I flew back home and she was really upset that I was still gone, I told her that I would be home when she woke up the next day, and that I would make her breakfast.  She said she wanted pancakes and bacon, and I promised to make them for her.  Unfortunately, D forgot to go to the store and actually buy the groceries I needed, so while I’m totally exhausted from a day of travel, I swung into the Harris Teeter up the street and picked up 2 packages of bacon and (I cheated) some frozen pancakes.  There was no way on earth I’d be up for making homemade pancakes!

I got home, wheeled all my stuff into the house, spent a few minutes calming my dog down who was so excited to see me that she was going to wake the entire house, spent a few minutes with my cat who was yelling at me because my absence had obviously screwed up her entire routine.  By the time I got to bed, it was 2am.  And I was up at 530.  And I felt like total poo!

When I woke up that morning, I had a sore throat, major headache, and I couldn’t breath.  I’m thinking that infecto-lady made me sick, and the few days I spent in WI was just the incubation period.  The following 3 days were pretty awful.  It felt like someone was jumping around in my sinuses, and alternating trying to push my eyeballs out from the inside and using some bizarre snot-hose to fill up my head no matter what meds I took or how often I blew my nose.  Friday was occupied by a dr’s appt in the morning, and then cleaning all day and trying to relax.  A stayed home from school as she wasn’t feeling so hot either.

BUT…there is no rest for the wicked, no matter how sick I may be.  Saturday was R’s 7th birthday celebration at Kangaroo Jac’s.  It was really hard being vertical for that party and being sociable to the moms who decided to stay (I mean really?  When your child is invited to a party, don’t you just drop him or her off and then come back at the end???).  D did all the coordinating of the kids and the Kangaroo Jac’s staff, and M chased and corralled all the kids on the inflatables all afternoon.  A put together the goodie bags, and I just worked on breathing and talking to the mom’s who stayed.  On top of this, D and I had ordered bday cupcakes from an allergy-free baker we had found out about.  Here is her very professional looking website.  All I can say is, DO NOT GO HERE!!!!  So here D and I are a couple of weeks ago, totally esctatic that we found a professional baker who could create nice looking party-worthy cakes and cupcakes that are safe for R to eat.  After many weeks of communications, the plan was for Stephanie to deliver the cupcakes to Kangaroo Jac’s at 245pm.  The party was 3-5, and it would allow us time to get them set up on the fun little cupcake stand I picked up at party city before all the kids started rolling in.

WELL….let me tell ya.  245.  No cupcake lady.  3pm when the kids are ready to bounce, no cupcake lady.  4pm when the pizza shows up, NO CUPCAKE LADY.  D’s calling the phone numbers we have for her, and one is disconnected and she’s not picking up the other – and neither is the answering machine on for it.  And it’s not like we can run to the grocery or bakery really fast and pick something up, because of the cross contamination of nuts used, so short of buying a box of twinkies, I’m horrified that we will have no bday treats for R.  No candles and singing, and her very first bday party will be ruined.  At 420pm, the cupcake lady shows up.  She’s a total mess, disoriented, and seems to be high on something.  D pays her and she bolts just as quickly as she can.  So thankfully we have the ability to put a candle on the cupcake and have everyone sing to her.  Fortunately, the kids were more excited about being able to jump on the inflatables, that they didn’t really care about the cupcakes anyway.  Which is also a good thing, because both R and A said they weren’t very good.  So if you live in the Hampton Roads area….STAY AWAY FROM THIS CAKE LADY!!!!

All is not lost, however.  After we get home from the party, and R’s playing with all her new toys, I start getting her ready for bed, and she throws her arms around me and tells me that today was the best day ever…except for me being sick.  So she had fun, and that’s all that matters.  So take THAT cakelady.

I slept a little better on Saturday than I had on Friday, so that was a bonus.  On Sunday, M and I went to the grocery, and I spent part of the day cooking.  I made a Middle Eastern Lentils with Onions and Garlic from my World Vegetarian cookbook and some basmati rice, Palestinian Sliced Tomatoes in a Tomato Sauce (from the same cookbook), and a Mediterranean Quinoa Salad from my 1000 Vegan Recipes book.  I also had soaked a bag of black beans overnight, and had those going in the crock pot with some onions, garlic, and bay leaves.  It was the first time in a week I was able to cook, and it made me feel much better.  I couldn’t really taste anything, but it still made me happy!

Sunday I had to work nights (8pm-9am) at one of our hospitals to support their IT systems go-live.  I came with lentils, tea, and theraflu.  I picked a corner of the room to work in as to avoid becoming infecto-lady myself.  I felt like hell, but just couldn’t call in…that would mean someone would have to be dragged out to Suffolk in the middle of the night and stay up all night.  I just couldn’t do that to someone.  The good news is that it was really quiet, so I got all caught up at work.  Over 800 unread emails (and about 500 ones I had read but not actually done anything about), budgets, project plans, etc.  It felt really good to get that much stuff done.  Around 530am, I started feeling rough, but made it through.

I got home Monday morning and took a nap.  I didn’t have to work Monday night, so I wanted to be able to sleep that night.  I woke up, made dinner (spaghetti) and took R to swim lessons while D took A and M to martial arts.  By the time we all got home, it was after 8pm.  D and I were both exhausted, I was still sick, so after calling my Dad to wish him a happy birthday, we all went to bed.  I do have to say that this year’s song choice was not traditional.  We usually sing Happy Birthday, but this year, we went with the Beatle’s When I’m Sixty-Four. 

Tuesday morning I took R to the orthodontist.  I was very relieved when I was told that yes, she’ll need orthodontic work, but not for another 3-4 years.  Woo hoo!  I took her to school, ran out to the pediatrician’s office to pick up medication forms for R (she has to have special forms to have her Epi Pen at school and daycare), had lunch with D, and then went home to take a nap and get ready for another 13 hr night shift.

I felt so much better by Tuesday, it was wonderful.  I’m still stuffy and coughing, but it’s no where near as bad as it was.  I had some lentil soup just before going to the hospital, so I brought some wheat thins and hummus and tea with me.  It was another quiet evening, so that was a big relief.

I got home from work yesterday morning, and had a couple bloody mary’s while watching CSI and CSI NY from last week.  I took a brief 3 hr nap, picked M up from school (he had a student council meeting), and got home right about the same time D did with R.  R did her homework, and then it was off to swim lessons again.  I had promised her we’d stay and swim for awhile, so when her lesson was over, the two of us swam for another half hour doing laps (for her they’re fun because she has her swim fins and goes crazy fast), for me, it was a really nice and much needed workout.  Then we hung out in the hot tub for 10 minutes or so, showered up, and left.  D was at martial arts with A and M, and he stopped at Subway afterward for dinner, ate, watched last week’s Chuck (we’re all big fans of the show), and then went off to bed. 

All this week it’s been raining a lot, and last night and all day today we’re in the middle of a tropical depression, so it’s pouring and flooding everywhere.  The kids were mocking me this morning because I was wearing my rain poncho (got it at Busch Gardens in Tampa last year!).  If they hadn’t both lost their umbrellas, I would actually have used MY umbrella…but I gave it to my oldest child so SHE wouldn’t get soaked.  So they’re picking on me (A told me I looked ridiculous), but it’s really their fault.  Oh well, I stayed dry, and that’s all that matters.

Because of the rain, I’m going to do my run on the treadmill today.  I’m in the taper phase, so it’s only a 30 minute run.  I’m nervous because I’ve missed a few runs in the past 2 weeks, and I’m scared what this will mean for Chicago.  I’m planning to do a 10 miler on Saturday, just to make myself feel better that I still can!

Because it’s an icky and rainy day, I have a big batch of homemade black bean soup going in the crockpot.  I’m using the beans I cooked on Sunday, so it’s all very fresh.  I’m going to make some whole wheat french bread and rice and that will be dinner!

A Novella About Food and Superman

Just fair warning that this post is going to be more about food and life than running…..and sorry it’s been 6 days since my last post.  I feel pretty guilty about that actually, since I enjoy blogging much more than I ever thought I would.
R’s swim lesson last Wednesday was funny.  She cheats!  She’s in a small group of older kids in the advanced swimming, and every time she’s supposed to do the front stroke for the length of the pool, she flips onto her back as soon as she passes her instructor.  I’m trying to get her attention and tell her to turn back onto her stomach and swim like she’s supposed to, other parents are giggling, and meanwhile, her instructor is unaware (until I start telling her that R’s cheating!).
I have to mention Survivor on Wednesday.  D and I haven’t really ever watched this show.  We tried one season a really long time ago, but never finished it.  We decided (really I decided) to enter a pool at work, which means we actually have to watch it this year.  The rules are $10 buy in, and whoever gets voted out first gets their money back.  Of course, I get the crazy goathearder Wendy….and who is the first to go??  Crazy goathearder Wendy.  Now I have to vote for Chase, who D has in the pool.  Wish him luck!
Thursday I had late meetings up in Newport News, so I stopped at Fresh Market to pick up dinner fixings.  I made pork chops in a mushroom gravy, rice, and stir-fried mushrooms for D and the kids.  I had a really late lunch (almost 3pm), so I had a bowl of soup.
Thursday also marked the return of the neti pot in my house.  R has really bad allergic rhinitis.  For several years (and she’s only 7), she’d get a sinus infection every 6 weeks or so between September and May.  They’d often lead to ear infections, and the poor baby was miserable.  Last year after much research, I decided to start using a neti pot on her (and got one for myself as well since my sinuses aren’t exactly happy in the fall/winter either).  It worked wonders!  She didn’t get a single sinus or ear infection last winter.  I told her pediatrician I was using it, and she was very happy and recommends them.  Anyway, we did this several times per week, and R would get very excited when the gross stuff came out of her nose.  We made a big deal about washing away the nasty germs.  Anyway, she was starting to get snuffly early last week, so I told her it was time to start washing her nose again.  She starts jumping up and down and getting all excited about how much she misses doing that.  To back up a bit, she drew a big picture last winter that is still hanging on the door between the kitchen and the garage.  It’s done on those really big sticky notes we use in meetings – so it’s about a third of the size of a standard door.  Anyway, she drew this picture into quadrants with the activities she likes to do with each one of us.  With dad, she’s riding on her shoulders.  With A (her older sister), they’re swimming together.  With M (the older brother), she’s playing video games.  With me??  She’s bent over with me flushing water up her nose and nasty boogers dripping into the sink.  I have a strange child.
Friday was a light meeting day, and I got quite a bit done.  I took off a little early so I could pack for my trip on Saturday.  I made crock pot brats in beer for dinner.  I made a batch of marinated and baked tofu squares to take on my plane with me so I’d have something to eat.  Not a typical plane snack, but hey.  It worked for me, and no one from TSA stopped me.
By Friday evening, D was feeling particularly miserable, and it only got worse on Saturday.  Originally, he was supposed to take me to the airport, but I decided it probably best if I just drove myself, so I left around 1045 so I could stop at the bank and head to the airport. 
The plane took off about 40 minutes late.  My boss and one of the physicians I work with were on it too.  My boss and I connected in Detroit and headed to Madison.  The physician connected in Detroit and headed to Green Bay for the Packer game.  I learned that my CEO and CIO also went to the game.  I must also mention that the woman sitting behind me on the flight from Detroit likely had every communicable respiratory disease in creation.  I ordered orange juice in case the extra vitamin C could stave off the inevitable illness I figured was coming.
I picked up my rental car and drove into Brookfield to meet my parents for dinner.  My Dad picked out Cafe Manna, which is a vegetarian restaurant that was recently written about in the paper.  It was fabulous, and pictures of all our food are below.  I didn’t get shots of the appetizer – which was a baked potato skin thing with a cilantro sauce.  It was paired with a very yummy organic Malbec, and I was in heaven.  There was also a cashew/coconut hummus and crackers on the table.  Dad and I both enjoyed it a lot.  Not sure Mom tried it.  I have to give my mom a lot of credit for actually eating there.  It’s not like she had much of a choice probably, but she’s a pretty picky eater, and was a very good sport.  She loved the appetizer…not her dinner so much.  My dad liked both his and my mom’s.  We all liked dessert.
I spent Saturday night at my parents and was up at 6am to get dressed and head up to my sister’s house.  We spent a little time there, and then drove into Fond Du Lac to see our grandma.  I also got to see my Godmother for the first time in almost 7 years, so that was nice.  After our visit, we went back to my sister’s house.  I stayed until half time, and then had to head back to Madison to check into the hotel and conference.  It was a whirlwind 24 hr trip, and it made me wish I had more time to see my family. 
I will mention that by early Saturday morning I couldn’t breath through my nose and my throat hurt.  Not sure if it was infecto-lady from the plane or being re-introduced to Wisconsin fall and my allergies protesting violently.  My brother in law gave me some Zyrtec – which helped a LOT – and I picked up some Emergen-C Immune Defense packets and a homeopathic sinus spray that worked wonders.  By Monday late morning, I was feeling fine.  That brand of homeopathic remedies has done amazing things in my family.  We’ve used the Pink Eye drops a couple of times – once in Florida on vacation when M got pink eye.  The stuff works miracles, and I highly recommend the entire product line!
The conference this week has been going well.  I gave a big presentation yesterday, and that also went very well, so I was happy.  There was a really large crowd (about 10 times more than I was anticipating).  The software conference is held by Epic Systems, and they really do a good job and have fun with it.  They do a theme every year, and this year is musicals.  Lots of skits and costumes.  They also have activities going on in additional to the conference sessions…things like horse drawn carriage rides, tug of war, bikes and helmets to go exploring, hiking trails and maps, outside picnics, bocce ball and croquet games constantly going on….it’s a lot of fun and very well done.  I imagine Epic would be an incredible company to work for.  They have a very large and eco-friendly campus, almost everything is organic and recyclable, and they provide a very liberal and groovy work environment.  They even have this HUGE tree house where staff can hold meetings, etc.  It’s pretty cool.
Dining has been fun this week.  I’ve had food from Nepal, Afghanistan, and India. I’ve been to a strictly vegetarian restaurant, and got to shop at Whole Foods.  As far as I know, the only one of these things I have back home is an Indian place!  I’ll have to check that out to be sure though.  The Nepali food was fabulous.  The Afghan food was pretty good.  Indian is always good. 
D has had to deal with a mountain of drama this week back at the home front, and he’s proven to me again what an incredible person he is.  He’s mom and dad, chauffeur, chef, and housekeeper (though he’d be fired if he really were a housekeeper) all in one.  He’s handled everything thrown at him and then some.  So thanks baby.  For being you!  My Superman!!!
Speaking of D.  He set it up so we could video chat while I’m away.  While it’s pretty cool, I think it just upsets R more when she can see me, but I’m not there.  She usually ends up crying and saying how much she misses me.  She doesn’t do that when we just talk on the phone.
After the conference today, I got back to my room and laced up my shoes.  I didn’t have my Garmin, so I’m not sure how far I went.  I was gone an hour, so I’m guessing 4-5 miles.  It worked out well – I walked to the Afghan restaurant, ordered my food to be ready an hour later, ran, picked it up, and walked back to my hotel.   
So this has been my week.  I’ve been gone long enough, and I can’t wait to head home tomorrow evening.  Friday is going to be a long day, but that’s okay too.  Saturday is R’s birthday party, so that should be an adventure.  I’m nervous because we invited 25 kids, and only about 5 or so have RSVP’d.  I’m hoping a lot more just show up!  D found an allergy-free cake lady, so I don’t have to make the cake for her party.  Yeah!  Sunday I go on nights for a week of go-live fun at one of our hospitals.
Hopefully between all this I’ll have time to run and blog…
  Mom’s BBQ Tempeh Burger and raw food slaw and roasted corn on the cob.  She loved the slaw and corn…not so much the burger. 
  Called the Peace Bowl.  Quinoa, brown rice, and veggies in a coconut curry sauce.  It was awesome.  Doesn’t look appetizing….but it tasted great.
  A blurry picture of Dad’s Penne Puttanesca.  An Italian dish with eggplant.  He said it was awesome. 
  The vegan chocolate berry tart.  Dad and I split half of it.  Yummy.
 Mom’s flour less chocolate cake.  She said it was good, but rich.  It wasn’t vegan, so I didn’t try it.

I Drank Beer From CANS!!!!!

I am feeling very guilty because it’s been 9 days since I updated my blog.  Believe me, it’s not because nothing has been happening in my universe, but mainly because it’s back to school time, and I’m exhausted.  My workouts have been there, though not as strongly as I would like.  Cooking has also not been as prominent this week as I’m figuring out how to balance my lack of time again.  It doesn’t help that I had 3 days of 7am meetings, so D was stuck running the mornings by himself (and he’s NOT a morning guy!).  I know it sounds like I’m whining.  I am.  I’ll get over it, but would like a few minutes of pouting and sympathy.

I have three children who go to four different school that all start and end at different times.  I forgot how much I enjoyed the freedom of my schedule in the summer.  Even though it was freakishly hot and I had to get creative with my workouts, it was still quite open to me with the available hours in my day.  Well…I can fully and utterly kiss that goodbye!

Last Tuesday was the first day of school for the kidlets.  Overall, the schedules are working much as they did last year.  Next year will change since A and M will be in the same school, and at least their mornings will be the same.

This past weekend we went with friends and their spouses/kids to one of the couple’s river house in Deltaville, VA.  There were 13 of us in all.  6 adults, 7 kids.  Since A doesn’t get home from high school until 630 pm, we were late hitting the road.  We made it up there by 9pm though, and pretty much all the adults sat around until nearly 2am drinking wine, talking, and catching up.

My one girlfriend and I planned all the meals for the weekend.  Our other girlfriend isn’t much into cooking, but L and I very much are, so it worked out well.

On Friday afternoon (I took the afternoon off), I was shopping for all the groceries I’d need for the weekend, and went to Sam’s Club.  I was picking up beer, and I had to decide between cans or bottles.  To be honest, I haven’t bought a “can” of beer since I was probably of legal age to drink anyway.  A few weeks ago, I was at S’s house, and the only bottled beer she had was Bud Light (ewww), so she had to give me a can.  Because I’m apparently quite pretentious about it, she poured it into a tervis (which are the coolest cups on the planet…I know have several), and I didn’t even complain that it had come from a can.  Sooo….as I’m at Sam’s, I call D and ask him if he minded if I bought cans of beer instead of bottles (figure it would be easier to travel with).  He laughed at me.  We did, however, bring our own Tervis cups to drink out of.

Saturday morning I made stuffed french toast (that L and I prepared the night before).  She made a couple pounds of turkey bacon that everyone snarfed.  We also had a bowl of cut up fruit (watermelon, cantaloupe, and grapes), and I made a fruit dip with vanilla yogurt and cool whip.  Lunch were sandwiches, mac and cheese, and fruit.  For dinner, I had a crock pot of red beans and rice, and L made regular and turkey burgers and hot dogs. 

Sunday morning was scrambled eggs, turkey bacon, fruit, and cinnamon rolls.  All of which were devoured quickly.  We did a special lunch celebration for R’s bday (her bday was Monday), and I made lasagna, biscuits, salad, and a bday cake.  L and A had gone into the little town the previous day to shop and picked up candles and bday napkins.  It was cute.

The guys and the kids did a lot of fishing over the weekend.  M caught a puffer fish!  D caught a bunch of spot fish, and A (my daughter, not our friend) spent two days hunting moby crab.  She finally caught him on Sunday, but he escaped her net.  J set up crab pots, and the plan was to have a crab boil on Sunday, but it was raining, and it wouldn’t have been a good idea to do it in the house I guess, so he let them all go.

The kids swam in the river and spent a lot of time just playing outside (croquet and bocce ball), goofing in the hammock, and going for walks.  It really was a wonderful and truly relaxing weekend – which I didn’t think could happen with that many people in one place!  We also played a ton of cribbage, which is always fun.

We left around 2pm Sunday for the 2 hr drive home.  We were home by 4, I went and picked up Sammie from the kennel, and tried to relax before getting everyone ready for school and work.

Monday was R’s bday, so that was a crazy-busy day.  A and M skipped TKD on Monday so they could spend the time with R.  I took her and M swimming at 5 (R had her lesson at 6).  We were done by 630, which was perfect timing for D to pick A up from school.  A decorated the bday cake, and D wrapped the gifts.  R got to pick where she wanted to go for dinner, and she picked Golden Corral.  I’m going to have to discourage her from doing that in the future.  It wasn’t good!  We got home around 830, did cake and opened presents. 

Yesterday was another early day because I had to go to Suffolk for a training class.  Then it was off to lunch with D and then to the heart hospital for meetings.  It was also Dough Raising night, which is a school PTA fundraiser R’s school has with Pizza Hut.  She gets very excited about it, and while I was all poised to make spaghetti, we ended up ordering pizza.  I worked until nearly 9pm to catch up on a bunch of my project work.  It was a late night, but I feel good about getting so much done.

I’m not sure what today has in store other than meetings and spaghetti, plus swim lessons and TKD.  I am scheduled to run 8 miles, but I frankly don’t know how the hell I’m going to fit it in.  I’ll try though, and we’ll see.  Maybe I’ll have to move it to tomorrow and run while D takes R to gymnastics. 

This Saturday, I’m flying to WI for a brief visit with family and then a conference.  Next weekend is R’s bday party at Kangaroo Jac’s.  Then 2 weeks later it’s Chicago Marathon time!

Until then, I’ll try and be better not only at managing my time and workouts, but actually updating my blog.  My Twitter feed has been neglected too, and I need to hop back on that train as well.  So stay tuned!

ROCK AND ROLL!!!

Yesterday was the Virginia Beach Rock N Roll 1/2 Marathon, and I had a very good time for the most part.

I got a new cool medal!  R walked around the house wearing it and all my other ones for a bit yesterday.  It was funny.

My finishers medal!

I didn’t sleep well the night before, which was really annoying.  When my alarm went off at 445am, I was really wishing I didn’t have to get up, but alas…I did.  I had set out all of my gear on Saturday night, and D set up the coffee pot to brew at 445, so all I had to do was jump in the shower, get dressed, and have some coffee and breakfast.  I had two pieces of whole wheat toast with sunflower butter and sliced banana.  I really like this breakfast.  I realize that I strayed from my typical pre-race meal of a Clif Bar, but my stomach had been a mess since the night before, and I didn’t want something as heavy as a Clif Bar before the run.  It must have been a good idea, because my stomach was fine during the race.

I woke D up at 6am, and we were on the road by 610 for him to drop me off near the race start on 19th street in front of the Convention Center.  He dropped me off at 640 as close as he could, and I walked to my corral.

When registering for a long run like this, you have to indicate what you’re projected finishing time is.  Based on that, you get assigned a number and a corral.  The point is to have the slower runners near the rear so they don’t get run over by the faster ones.  There were 27 corrals in all, and I was in 17.

A view of the starting line as the sun was coming up

My corral #17

The race was a “wave start” which means that each corral is walked up to the start line, the gun goes off (really, it was a fog horn though), and then repeat.  At 630am the wheelchair invitational started, which is anyone either competing in a wheelchair or pushing someone in a wheelchair.  At 645am, the elites started, and at 7am, corral 1 went.  By the time corral 17 hit the starting line, it was 740am. 

It was a beautiful day, around 70 degrees when the race started, and around 80 when it finished.  There were bands stationed at every mile and many local cheerleaders encouraging everyone on.  It was hard not to smile.

Band at mile 5 – where I stopped for a potty break

I didn’t bring any water or fig newtons with me on the run.  I did bring two Gu’s though.  They had Cytomax and Water every 2 miles or so, and I felt that was enough.  One of my big fears that I have blogged about before was not having enough hydration in our ridiculous Virginia heat.  I’m starting to ease back a bit because 1-it wasn’t hot yesterday, and 2 – I may be over hydrating just a bit, which impacts performance as well.

Everyone once in awhile, we’d run under silly gateways of some kind, usually marking the distance you hit, such as the 5K mark, the 15 K mark, etc.  I’m not sure which one this was, but thought it was amusing enough to take a picture of.

one of the rock n roll gateways on the course

I didn’t stop to take a picture of the finish line.  I was too busy scanning the crowd looking for D and the kids.  The plan had been for him to drop me off, run back home, grab the kids, take them for a quick breakfast, and then get to the finish line to see me cross it.  I was very excited because it’ll have been the first race they’ve ever come to see me at.  I texted him when I was 4 miles from the finish to make sure he could gauge about when I’d be done.  Unfortunately, a combination of bad time management and bad traffic kept them from getting there.  I won’t lie…I was crushed.  So while I enjoyed the run a lot, I felt no joy when I crossed the finish line because the people I was supposed to share it with weren’t there.  I’m now over the disappointment of yesterday. I know he wanted to be there and as upset as I am at his inability to manage time, I know that it wasn’t on purpose, and he felt bad.

As usual, one of  my favorite parts of the run is just all of the people that were there.  During the long wait in the corral to start, I was talking to a woman who was very nervous, as this was her first 1/2 marathon.  We talked a bit about what to expect and how much fun it actually is.  Of course seeing the wheelchair participants is always very inspiring, and when they looped around in front of the crowd, all the runners and spectators alike started cheering.  I read a story of one participant that was especially touching.  A soldier had been injured in Iraq in 2009 and suffered severe brain injury.  He’s entire platoon took turns relay-style pushing him through the course.  It’s that type of love, focus, and dedication that makes me love the running community so much.  I saw all types of people there for a cause or running in honor of a loved one.  There was the always dominant Team In Training for the Lymphoma and Leukemia Society.  There were people wearing t-shirts for cancer research, heart disease, muscular dystrophy, homelessness, and pretty much every charity you can imagine.  It’s really beautiful to see.  I actually became interested in wanting to sign up for one I have never heard of before Team Challenge – to raise money for Crohn’s and Colitis research.  Since D has Crohn’s and I watch how much it affects his life, I feel very strongly that I could run in honor of him and help raise money.  Right now, it seems to be a pretty new group, and the closest chapter is in Washington DC, and the only run they’re currently training for is the Las Vegas Rock N Roll in December – which is too close to the October race for me to run in.  After my marathon in Chicago is over, I’m hoping to start up a local chapter here, pick a spring run to train for, and help the 1.4 million Americans just like my husband.
There were people running in costumes – a guy in a cape that was near me most of the time and  I saw a girl dressed up as a guitar, and even saw a guy running barefoot.  There was a man who was “running” on crutches.  He had one leg – and no prosthetic.  He literally used his crutches and arms to finish.  I can’t imagine how difficult that had to be. 
After the race, I walked to where D and the kids were waiting (in a 7-11 parking lot) and we went home.  No staying for the after race party this time.
I took a shower, pouted for a while, and watched TV.  Part of the entire weekend is the American Music Festival that gets put on at the Oceanfront.  When you run, you’re guaranteed race entry as long as you have your running bib.  When I signed up, I purchased the extra ticket for D so we could go party for a bit the night of the race.  I figured I could spend the day recovering and relaxing, then hit the beach at night for a concert.  That’s what we fully intended anyway!  We left home around 6 after feeding the kids dinner, and went down to the beach.  Once we got there and stared wandering around the boardwalk, we both decided we didn’t have much interest in seeing Pat Benatar and REO Speedwagon, so we walked along hand in hand, stopped for a beer and some onion rings, and then came home.  It turned out to be a very lovely evening in the low 70’s, and couldn’t really ask for a nicer night to be down at the beach.  We spend the evening cuddling and watching TV after putting the kids in bed fairly early.  All in all, a really nice day and I’m very glad I did it.

Oceanfront in the early evening

PFFFT Earl!!!

There is something to be said for being over prepared for something.  All week, we were watching the weather reports about hurricane Earl.  Aside from my eldest child mocking the name Earl and the fear that it does NOT inspire, we really were a little concerned.  The Outer Banks of NC are very close to us and they evacuated many areas. And while we’re rarely in danger of a direct hit in the Hampton Roads area, just having the outside bands of a major storm causes havoc around here.  So we prepared everywhere.  At work we had regular planning discussions to ensure that all of our IT systems were ready for a natural disaster, as well as at our hospitals – planning to take patients from NC as well as keep our own dry and safe.  At home, I bought plenty of bottled water and chips (I think major storms that keep you locked inside with no power warrant junk food). 
Pretty much everyone I work with were all told to work from home on Friday to be safe. Since Earl was supposed to make landfall in Hatteras at sunrise,  we’d planned to see some major activity around 9am-2pm.  Well….we did get a little bit of rain.  I heard the surfers were thrilled at the waves churning around, but as for my lovely Virginia….we didn’t see anything more than a light summer storm.
This was good news for several reasons.  1-everyone stayed safe and dryish.  No wind damage, flooding, or any of the problems our region thought we’d have.  And 2 – The Virginia Beach Rock N Roll Half Marathon is going on as planned.  Which is tomorrow.
Yesterday, M and I went to the Expo at the Convention Center in Virginia Beach to pick up my race packet and peruse the sponsors and exhibits.  We spent about 2 hours there, picked up a few things, and just had a good time.  As I was thinking yesterday and today (and yes…I went back today!), I realized that running in this race tomorrow is the exact prescription I need.  I’m so excited about tomorrow and really am looking forward to the event that it will be.  There are bands at every single mile, cheerleaders from local high schools stationed at regular intervals to encourage the runners on, and of course the post-race party at the end and the major concert in the evening.  I recognized today after I went to the expo AGAIN, that I had lost some of the joy of running this summer because I’ve been wrapped up in the training.  I am focused so much more on the goal of completing my marathon in October, that I forgot just how much fun running events are.  And since my marathon is in little more than a month, I think having a major race right now is perfect; it’ll give me a pretty good idea of how quickly (or slowly) I can expect to run in Chicago, and it’s reminding me what I love about running and why I’m training so hard…and plan to keep doing for as long as I am physically able.
The pictures below are a couple I took at the expo.  The entrance to the expo was a big red carpet directing us to where we check in, pick up our bib’s, and swag packs.  Then it was into the sponsor area, which was mainly put on by Brooks (who happen to make the running shoes that I wear – the Brooks Ravenna), and they had a carnival theme.  M played a couple games trying to win prizes, and I picked up a t-shirt.  I thought it was funny that all of their fitting rooms looked like port-a-potty’s so I took a picture of those too.  From there, we went into the exhibitors area where people promote races around the country, sell running themed products (like ear phones, clothes, vitamins, Gu’s, etc), and where you can get lost just wandering around and oogling at everything.  I have to say I’m really excited about going to Chicago’s Expo in October.  There’s world of difference when an Expo is a professionally sponsored event.
So that’s it.  I’m heading to bed in a couple to make sure I’m as well rested as possible.  D has to drop me off in the morning, but then he and the kids are coming back to see me finish.  It’s the first time he’s ever come to one of my events, so I’m very much looking forward to that!
I plan on taking a few pictures along the way, and will certainly post them.  Here’s hoping I’m as excited when I’m DONE as I am now!

Track and Field Sports are Really Just Throwbacks to Medieval Times

The last few days have been more about food than exercise.  I haven’t been feeling so hot, so the workouts have been short in duration. 

Sunday was all about the bloody mary’s and leinenkugel’s up at Wild Wing with Shawna.  Oh, and maybe a jaeger bomb or two.  And no…I didn’t drive.  This is one of my favorite places because they have a ton of different hot sauces and veggie burgers.  So….I was quite upset when the waitress and manager came to my table to inform me that they no longer have veggie burgers (and S pointed out…I’m probably the only person who goes to a wing place to eat veggie burgers).  I was crushed!  BUT….they whipped me up a yummy wrap of black beans, corn, onion, bell peppers, tomatoes, and my favorite hot sauce – Chernobyl.  It was very tasty, and it’s now a permanent menu option (they added it to their computer…it’s called the Spicy Vegan if anyone goes and wants to try it!).

I didn’t eat much on Monday.  There was a small kitchen fire at R’s daycare, so I had her home with me most of the day.  I had the tofu millet, the rest of the baked tomato and onions, and then the leftover eggplant gratin.  According to my log, I ate about 722 calories.  About half of what I should have, but just wasn’t hungry.  It was the beginning of me feeling poopy that day.

I wasn’t overly hungry Tuesday either, but since I was home, I spent most of the day cooking.  I made some fresh soy milk in order to make some homemade soy yogurt.  It’s a LONG process, but the end result was good.  I made two loaves of rustic Italian bread, a big batch of split pea soup from the Candle Cafe book, a cream of potato and veggie soup in my Vitamix, and some marinated and baked tofu (in a Dijon type marinade) – for use in sandwiches and wraps for me.  For D and the kids, I made pub sandwiches.  I had a bit of the soup, but wasn’t hungry enough to eat anything else.

Yesterday, I had some of my new soy yogurt for breakfast, mixed with a bit of splenda and cinnamon, and a piece of toast with sunflower butter.  For lunch, I made a fresh veggie juice in my awesome Vitamix.  I’m still feeling kinda icky, but I hope if I keep eating very healthy, I’ll bounce back soon – I have a race this weekend (unless hurricane Earl kills those plans).  I went for a short run, but didn’t have it in me to go the full 7 miles.  I guess I should relax and ease into it as I feel better.  I know that’s the smart thing to do.  Of course, what I’m afraid of is how this will impact my racing!  Oh well….

I made another fresh juice in the late afternoon.  D’s on call, and his pager has been going bananas.  He got paged and had to go to one of his sites around 630pm, so I took the kids to Tae Kwon Do.  While A and M were there, R and I went to Target to pick up some hurricane supplies.  I’m guessing everyone else had the same idea since they were out of flashlights and bottled water.  I’m going to try again this evening.  Since we had such a late night, we all met at a Mexican restaurant right down the road from our house around 8pm.  Again, I just wasn’t hungry.  I nibbled on some veggies, but not much more than that.

It was hilarious though listening to D monologue about track and field sports at dinner last night.  He took each one and explained what medieval activity it related to.  Let’s take javelin.  That’s really all about spearing your food, so everyone had one and when someone said “look, a gazelle”, they’d have dinner!  The hammer throw had something to do with pirates, and the pole vault was all about storming the castle.  As was the high jump (since tall wall technology wasn’t developed back then, so it was fully feasible to hop a wall).  Hurdles were from jumping over bodies strewn across the battlefield.  I can’t remember everything he said because I was laughing so hard, but basically, there are pretty much no modern applications for track and field events…except something about being able to throw a manhole cover across town if needed being the only practical application of the discus throw.  He then started ranting about non-medal events in the Olympics.  I really should film him when he gets like this.

Today is back to life as normal.  Breakfast was…JUICE.  It’s some garden fresh tomatoes, spinach, carrots, onion, lime, hot sauce, vegan Worcestershire sauce, celery, and red bell pepper.  I put all the whole food into the vitamix, add a little ice, and liquefy into tasty and spicy and healthy yumminess.  D thinks that juice will made a great bloody mary mix, which I’ll try in the next few days.  I’m feeling much better, so that’s pretty good.  Most of today is working on disaster planning for both our IT systems and then at my main hospital in case Earl poses a serious threat.  My CTO and CIO doesn’t think it will, and that we’ll only see 20-30 mph winds and a couple inches of rain, and not the Category 4 damage a direct hit would cause.  I hope he’s right, but I’d rather be prepared.

So that’s it.  Hoping tonight will be a Fitlinxx night.  D is feeling all better, which is wonderful, and he’s itching to get back to the gym (which just makes me giddy…I’ve waited a LONG time for him to get into exercising).