Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Ironman Pictures and Trip to Louisville

Can be found here.

Enjoy....

Taking the day off.
Woohoo!!

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Week 34 Training Recap & Crash note

First of all, Elizabeth is fine. She had gotten back from Korea a few days prior and feeling the effects of jet lag. Yes. She fell asleep at the wheel. Sigh...

She was trying to do things for herself and be responsible. She was taking advantage of having a car to move things to her new apartment, save time going between the house and school for practice. The car meant freedom and some level of a new slate on life.

The car is totaled. Calls to her brother in NYC, her parents in Korea, talking back and forth with Joseph... all in all, Elizabeth is safe. Shaken up a bit but safe.

It was a lesson well learned. It was good fortune that it happened on a slow neighborhood street into parked cars instead of on a highway. The airbags deployed. And she will learn early what a hassle it is for things to go wrong - with insurance and tow trucks and police reports and such. And all while she has family around her to help.

Well... last week was a travel week. I have every intention of running daily. But I did not take into consideration how much "running" I would do to prepare for the Ironman (supporting Joseph) and the heat. THE HEAT!!! Anyway, I now feel like a rock. That is unable to gather moss. Sigh...
Monday: 1.67 miles recovery run. 20 minutes. I had a very long week last week with about 80 miles on the weekend. So Joseph told me, "20 minutes - no more and no less".

Tuesday: Got a good work out in on the trainer. Rode easy for an hour 20, covering 21.5 miles.

Wednesday: Rode 8 miles in about 30 minutes. Easy spinning!

Thursday: Ran 1.69 miles in Ohio at Cher's. HEAT! I saw deer though. Nice!

Friday: Rest day. Too busy.

Saturday: Nothing. Too damn busy!!! And too tired from running around prepping for race day with Joseph!!!

Sunday: Nothing, if you don't count the 14 hours of running around I did supporting Joseph on the Ironman course. I was exhausted!!

Total Biking Miles: 28.5
Total Running Miles: 3.36
Total Walking Miles: 0 - haven't gotten a new pedometer but I bet I walked 50 miles last week!
Total Swimming Laps: 0 - still
Total Stretching Days: 2 - too tired from running around!!
This week, we have a day at home and then on Friday we head out to Ireland through Labor Day. Exercise is unrealistic. Why, you ask?? Because. That is how my brain works!!! And that is that!!!

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Tuesday, August 28, 2007

A Welcome Home Crash

Well, we are home. We left early this morning and did the whole 12 hour drive (with stops of course). We ended up having dinner at the Japanese Restaurant (Izumi) off the I-84 on Schuyler Blvd in Fishkill, NY. It was very good and reasonably priced.

We came home, unpacked and got settled. We noticed that Elizabeth wasn't home yet but then she didn't know if we were coming in tonight or tomorrow. Anyway... Joseph just left to go and get her. Turns out that she got herself into a car accident a couple miles from the house. She is a new driver. We had an agreement with her - no driving unless we know about it. She is gonna have some 'splainin' to do...


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Monday, August 27, 2007

Slaves and Sluggers

This morning, we decided to get breakfast on the way to the convention center where they set up the Ironman Store where they had all the finisher fear. And this led us to the Great Breakfast Hunt.

Ok. WHAT CITY does not open for breakfast? Especially one that is trying to attract tourists and grow in the destination tourism industry? And WHY do they think that HOTEL FOOD is what we are looking for?? What happened to the DINER??? What happened to the bagel shops? Where are the fast-pick-up-breakfast bars that morph into sandwich-and-soup-deli counters at lunch? Ohhh!!!! I know why.... we're in the SOUTH! There are no bagels!!! It's too hot for people to run out for lunch!!! People eat at HOME!!! Who knew??? ARG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

We spent about 45 minutes SCOURING the downtown area looking for a place to eat. And we finally settled on a rinky dink divey sort of place in the building where the selection wasn't big and everything was slow,even by southern standards. But, the biscuits and gravy and the sausages were good....

Afterwards, we ended up at the convention center and on the way to the store, people were going across this under-building driveway to the other side of the building. I ask Joseph about it and he said they were the ones who were getting in line to sigh up for next year's race. Huh? NEXT YEAR? Bunchacrazies...

Joseph ended up getting quite a few things and while in line it was evident that most of the finishers had come with significant others. Striking up a conversation was easy since we athlete supporters had one thing in common - we knew what it was like to live with an athlete who was training for an ironman. It had to be all about them! We laughingly called ourselves the Triathlon Widows - I called us the Ironman Slaves!

As we walked back to the hotel with our precious bundle of finisher gear, we saw Cher and Milt ahead of us, obviously on the Great Breakfast Hunt themselves. They were turning into the same deli we had breakfast in. We caught up with them and told them to go to Cravings and see if it's open. We should have gone there because later in the day, they regaled us with tales of fresh made omelets to order, large selection meets and breads... grrrrr.....

They met us at the hotel and we went off to tour the Louisville Slugger Museum which was four blocks from the hotel. What a terrific place. They used to make furniture until the son of the owner made a bat. And that was all, folks. They never looked back.

Who knew that making bats was so complicated? Different shapes, sizes, weight, lengths. Different signatures and colors. I even got a chance to swing a bat that was made for Derek Jeter and Manny Ramirez and David Ortiz. That was so cool. The bats are very heavy!

After the museum, we had the Great Country Ham Search. We were walking along back to the hotel and passed a cafe which two men came out of. One of them overheard me talking about the country ham and told us where to get it. Turns out that at the hotel, the clerk told Cher that I could get it at the local Krogers. Who knew?

After Krogers, where we got the very last country ham, and where they slice it all up for you, we headed out for the Great BBQ Search. The nice Bellman that we met the first day told us about the guy on 6th and Muhammed Ali that used to sell BBQ out of a barrel and now... he has a small building. We got to 6th and Muhammed Ali and I was shading my eyes with my hand, looking around, a woman sitting at the red light leaned over and asked what I was looking for.

I said, "BBQ."
She said, "Brown and while building."
I looked up and there it was... a brown and while building barely large enough to hold a kitchen... and a man sitting out front who told us the electrical broke down that morning and there would be no BBQ until that was fixed. WAH!!!! So we crossed the street and had a hot dog from the street vendor for lunch. Wasn't bad!

Then we headed to Cher and Milt's for the night. We had a nice cookout. Heather, Jon and the Baby joined us. Nice family time.

Tomorrow we head back home.


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The Final Run Home

Finishing up the spectator report from yesterday...

Back toward the transition, I call Cher. She's hanging around some building. Ok. Now there are a lot of buildings. I am undecided. Do I go up and find her or do I hang out around transition and wait for Joseph... my timing of when he is coming into transtion or various points in the race are off by 10 to 15 minutes. Indecision sets in. CRISIS! So, I call Cher and tell her I will be hanging out a little bit.

Again, Joseph is off predictions, but I do manage to see him and get close enough to shout out to him.

He starts the run, and I call Cher. I finally find her in the crowd - she has a nice cosy seat on the curb in the shade of a big building, where Joseph will be running by twice.

We wait and cheer. There is a woman standing to our left, with a big ole cow bell shouting out, "Welcome to the marathon, boys" which I thought was totally inappropriate in tone and wholly annoying. And that cow bell? At one point, Cher looked at me and said, "Don't you want to shove that cow bell up some place?" Uh... Yah. I was hoping the woman would leave but she insistently stood her ground and chose to irritate us with her presence.

We finally see Joseph. We start cheering like crazy! He runs by with a thumbs down. Uh oh. I stop cheering. Not good.

He comes around again. Says, "I've been cramping since the bike." Uh oh. I am getting more worried. All I know is that the run is his best event. He is a sub-3 hour marathoner. He is strong - physically, mentally, spiritually. And if he feels weak now, I don't know how that makes me feel. I look at Cher and Billiam and Milt, and we all sort of look worried.

There is no shade on this course. All concrete and asphalt. There is no respite from the sun. I know he is on the out and back portion of the run so we head back to Fourth Street Live, we we hang out in the shade and watch the early runners come in.
At one point, Cher goes wandering and calls to let me know she has a spot where they will do another loop - Joseph just ran by her... so I head on over with Billiam.

We hang out until he runs by. This time he asks for his wedding ring that I'd been keeping for him. I thought it strange that that was all he wanted. But then, they can't accept any aid from non-race-affiliated people or they will be disqualified. We watch him run off and then we head back to Fourth Street Live and wait for him to come home.

And we wait. I can't concentrate. At one point Billiam says that the 26 mile marker is just up ahead. And so, I start my slow stroll toward it. We get situated on the corner right before the 26 mile marker and wait some more. It was getting late, and Billiam had to go home but he waited too.

Time passes slowly.
I worry about Joseph.
I worry about Billiam who has been up since 3am and needs to go home and have supper.
I worry and wait.
Then I see him. Here is comes. He is slogging along. He rounds the corner, runs past me and shouts over his shoulder, "I can still make it before the clock turns" - I assume to 13 hours. Later, he told me that had he known that he would be just 3 minutes short of a sub-5-hour marathon, he would have started faster running earlier.

By this time, it was late. Billiam gave me a hug and left. I ran after Joseph but of course, I couldn't keep up. Thankfully, Cher was at the finish to cheer him in.

Everything after that was a bit of a blur. We walked back to the hotel. Joseph decided to take an ice bath. While he ran the cold water into the tub, I went and emptied out 4 ice makers on 4 different floors- filled up the biggest trash can in the room! I ran back to the room and Joseph was already laying in the tub. I slowly poured in the ice, and he started shivering uncontrollably. I think at that point, I realized how high he core temperature must have been and how quickly the bath cooled him down.

Then we had dinner at Magnolia Cafe. Can't remember much of it except there were several finishers and their families all around us, that the service was really slow but the server was very nice.

And then, I assume we fell into bed dead asleep because I don't remember anything after that.

And this morning, it's like it never happened. Very surreal... like did that really happen???

This morning we are going to the Ironman Store and hook up with Cher and Milt later.

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Sunday, August 26, 2007

The Long Ride

After I couldn't see Joseph in the water any more, I ran back to the transition area and met up with Cher and Milt and Billiam. We hung out until the swim was over, waiting for Joseph. I knew the current was strong and I had noticed that some of the swimmers didn't even look like they were moving forward because of the currents. As the time dragged one, I got more and more nervous. Never in my life did I think he wouldn't make it. And just make sure, I checked the kayakers patrolling the swimmers to make sure there was no one hanging on the side of one of them. Okay okay okay. LOL. I just had to make sure for my own peace of mind! I'm just saying...

Anyway, as I was waiting, I had my time calculations wrong and I thought Joseph would be in sooner than he was and I started worrying. And as I worried, of course Billiam worried. But then, there he was...finally...running down the steps of the park, leading to the run course alongside the transition chutes. My camera whirred...

He disappears into the crowd for what seemed like forever - on the far side of the transition area... And then there he was running toward the bike...

And then he's off...

And that was it. Again. Sigh...

We gathered and Milt, Cher, and Billiam decided to go eat breakfast at Lynn's Paradise Cafe - site of a Throwdown with Bobby Flay episode. It was 9:30 and my calculations said I didn't have that much time. I had to get to Lagrange if I wanted to catch him in two hours. So I said I'd get something at the hotel and that I'd see them later.

I ran back to the hotel, calculating time in my head and came to the conclusion that with the 35 minute drive to Lagrange, finding parking, getting situated ina good spot to see Joseph come through, I was lucky to get breakfast. As I waited for the valet to get the car, I bragged a coffee and a danish in the hotel lobby.

The mad dash to Lagrange 25 minutes away - take 64 to 71 to exit 22... take a left off the exit... lights lights lights - very busy street. I look up and I see the early bikers. I go up a few more cross streets, see a parking spot and grab it.

I run up. Plenty of time. I walked up and down and finally found Big R's BBQ. Because of the crowds they were only serving a limited menu. I had a half rack of ribs, potato salad and cole slaw. Very good! Not the best but definitely not bad.

Then back on the street. Find a place to sit. Take pictures and wait for Joseph. I expected him at around 11:30 but he got there around 11:40. The first loop was starting. He gave me a wave and a smile. I sat through the next loop for a bit and then knew I had an hour or just over to get back to transition.

So back to the car, 35 minutes back to the hotel, throw the keys to the valet and head back to the transition.

Okay. By this time, I think I covered about 8 miles. Unbelievable. And I don't have time to be tired!

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What Time is it, anyway???

What time is it??? Ugh... 4 am or something. It doesn't matter, much too early!!!

Joseph got up and woke me up. He gets his stuff together, and I just sort of hang out, getting ready and staying out of his way. It's The Day. The Big Day. Ironman Day. I can't imagine...

We didn't have time for breakfast so we just have some coffee (JOseph has the oatmeal he brought from home - regular Race Day Fare) and head out past the Great Lawn half a mile a way to the Swim Start that is 2/3 of a mile beyond the Great Lawn.

It's still dark out. Ugh. I hope I don't twist and ankle because it's so dark...and I can't see too well in the dark...

We headed to the transition area at the Great Lawn to drop off last minute gear. I waited for Joseph at the body marking table and there were Cher and Billiam. Billiam is a friend who lives in the area. As strange as it sounds, I see him only a couple or three years apart! It's always nice to see Billiam. That's not his real name - his name is Bill, short of William, so we call him Billiam. What else would we call him?

I take pictures of Cher and Billiam marking people. Numbers on both arms, on one calf, their age on the other calf.

Joseph comes up and gets marked by Cher. Then a brief exchange between them and Joseph and I are off to the next stop 2/3 of a mile up the road. It's still dark!

We approach the start and there is a line. A LINE. It's 5:45 o'clock ayy emm! An hour before the swim start and we have to walk another half mile to get to the back of the line! What is wrong with these people?? It's a CHIP START AFTER ALL! Whatever.

We get to the back of the line and find ourselves right next to a line of porta potties. Great. No. Really. It's great! I have to pee every 5 minutes, donchaknow, because if I don't pee every five minutes, OMG, I may not find a bathroom ever again!

We sort of hang out in line and watch the crowds. Most of the swimmers have brought friends or relatives with them, all of us are standing in line with our athlete, keeping them company, making the line much longer than it has to be which means the athletes who will be on their feet all day or on their butt all day will have to work that much harder to get to the end of the line... but we must be in line with our athelete in case we are not there and the race just disappears. Dontchaknow...

6:40...
6:45... songs, indistinct words...
6:50... loud boom - the gun goes off... the elites are going into the water - just a guess, since we can't really see anything
6:55... the line is moving, we step up... in between the break in people I see people in the water... and the line is winding THREE ROWS DEEP! Jeez...
7:00... loud boom - the start of the time trial swim start...
7:05... the line keeps moving...

We eventually get to the gate and I have to step away...a quick hug, kiss, and good luck and Joseph enters the chute... I wave and keep him in my sights for as long as I can...It's really hard with the tears in my eyes...

I find a terraced bank of steps and I run down... to see the pier where people are jumping from into the water... I wait for Joseph and catch glimpses of him. I wave, he waves, I tell him I love him and my throat just closes... I am nervous and excited... there he goes into the water... I keep my eyes on him as long as I can... I run along the terrace until I can't go any more... my camera whirs at a high speed... And that's it.

Now I wait for the Bike.

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Saturday, August 25, 2007

Final Preparations


We got back to the hotel after lunch and it was time to turn in the transition gear and the bike. This meant another .5 mile walk to the transition and another .5mile walk back, with lots of meandering in between.

Joseph grabbed the bike and one of the bags, and I grabbed the other bag and we headed down to the Great Lawn on the banks of the Ohio. It was an amazing site. Some people had already put there gear up, and more were streaming in behind us, but the transition was still only half full. I couldn't go in, so Joseph took both bags.

I took pictures of him hanging up his transition bags and racking his bike. As the racks filled with bikes, I was thinking, "What a jackpot..." hundred of thousands of dollars worth of bike and gear in the middle of downtown Louisville...

On the way back to the hotel, it started to spit and spurt from the sky. When we got to the room, the skies opened. The thundershowers were coming toward us. WE looked out of the window and saw the line of rain... it was wet past the Muhammed Ali museum, but not in the waterfront park area in front and below our room. We waited and watched the rain overtake us. It was really wild!!

After that I sat on the bed and just crashed. I got up to find a note- Joseph had gone down to transition to check on the bikes and make sure the gear bags held up.

Tonight we went to dinner with Cher and Milt - across the Ohio in Indiana. We went to Rocky's. After driving around a bit and look at the flood wall (who knew that a flood wall really is a wall??? I didn't...), we decided that Rocky's was it. We scored an outdoor table by the river, looking across at the Great Lawn with it's many white tents, row of bags and all the bikes. You could also see a the bouys lining the swim course. All I could think about what, "that is a loooooong way to swim...."

Time for bed. We are getting up at 4:00 o'clock AYYY EMMM!!! ARG!!!

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The Roller Coaster

Okay. So I thought that it was hilly where we live. And it is. But the bike course gave a new definition to the work "hilly."

From the transition area, it was pretty flattish. I say that because it gave the appearance of being flat. However, it was one of those killer slowly ascending roads for about the first 20 miles. The ones that you don't think are ascending until you wonder why you are so out of shape, take a look behind you and realize, "Ohhhhhhh!!! I've been riding uphill for as far as I can see!!!!" Right.

Towards the end of the first 20 mile segment, things got a bit more interesting. The roller coaster started - short steep hills, followed by short steep downhills. You had to ride the downs to get up the ups! And then you took a right hand turn into what I call the Maw of Death - long steep declines that changed to long steep inclines. Long one. LONG. Ahem.

Then there at the end, when you feel that this must be a joke, and they have to be kidding, and you feel as if your legs are going to fall off and your heart is going to pop, is the turnaround point. A big M-dot in the middle, with two arrows pointing in a counter clockwise direction... talk about a sharp turn! Of course, this is all conjecture. I like to ride, but I am no masochist.

The, it's back on the same road, take a right and continue on to La Grange - another few roller coaster miles up the road. There is a long include up to the middle of Historic Lagrange. They would be riding a 38-mile look in Lagrange twice. And this isn't exactly flat either. All I could see were roller coaster hills. So, to distract myself, of course, I continued my hell-bent search for a country ham - I had my eyes PEELED for any store that might look like it carried country ham. In the middle of Lagrange, I did see Big R's BBQ, where I decided I would eat tomorrow while waiting for Joseph to come through.

We drove the Lagrange loop once and headed back to downtown LV - it was a long drive.

I turned to Joseph at one point and gave him my big-eyed look. Then I thought about and said,"if this weren't an ironman, the course could be fun with all the ups and downs." Ummmm... yah. Right.... He actually bought it...

Anyway, we got back to the the hotel and Roger called. He had called earlier and left us a message. He is Cher's and Milt's brother in law lives in the LV area. He is one of the nicest people I've ever met. I think he can take me or leave me (although I know that if he didn't like me, he wouldn't waste his time) but he really likes Joe and wanted to get together for a drink. So we met him at an Irish Pub (!!! - in Louisville. Yah.) Fourth Street Live - a blocked off section of the downtown area where there is shopping and food. We had a nice chat and a nice beer. Roger sat with us and had a drink while we ate lunch. It was too bad that we couldn't stay with him too long. Joseph had to go back to the hotel and gather all the transition gear to check it in before 5pm and it was around 2:30 when we got back.

The temps were not as high as predicted - for once the weather liars were wrong in the right way! And it looked like rain. There is nothing quite as beautiful and ominous as cloudy dark skies...

At this point, I was so tired, I was a walking zombie. And I still hadn't found my country ham!!! ARG!!!

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Swim Practice

I am exhuasted! The heat, the going to-and-fro, the madness of Registration Day Number Two! I feel as if I've lived 3 days in one!

This morning, the swim practice was scheduled from 7am to 9am or something like that. I cannot keep track of times. I am so exhausted that things are starting to blur together!

We got up, had coffee and decided to go to the practice swim before we got breakfast. Mistake. I was so hungry that I started getting cranky. The worst part of it was that I couldn't crank out loud because I did not want to stress Joseph out! Have you ever been cranky and now been able to crank out loud? Yeah. Um-hmmm... not good.

We walked to to the swim area - which is .75 miles past the transition, which is .5 miles from the hotel. Before we did anything, we had already walked 1.25 miles! Hellooooooo!!!!! There were triathletes milling about - some in skin suits but mostly in bathing suits, since the water was around 85 degrees and wet suits would not be allows. Yuk. All that water. The thought of it touching my skin... yulk yuk yuk... too much for me to handle. Joseph slowly made his way down to the platform. Barefoot. I hate going barefoot. So much stuff that gets on your feet. Yuk yuk yuk... I took lots of pictures.

Some had swam the day before and were back for a second day. Masochists.

We hung out after Joseph finished and we looked for someone that Joseph knew but hadn't met before. Another one of those dead tri people... Anyway, after lots of pictures, we decided to head back to the hotel and get something to eat. We ended up at the Magnolia Cafe in the hotel. The service was slow and it wasn't the fanciest place. Kinda reminded me of a Denny's - one of those roadside restaurants you find on the highway.

Anyway, I ended up getting every single southern food that I have unknowingly missed in the last 24 years in Bostons - grits, biscuit, sausages (they taste different in the North), heart-cloggin sausage gravy...

I even ordered a country ham.
The server said, "hmmm... it's real salty."
I said, "yup."
After I ate it, she came back and asked, "How'd you like the country ham?"
I said, "It was delicious."
And she laughed and said, "Hmmm... it's good, itn't it?"
Too funny. I guess she was worried about the salt if I had never had it before.

Breakfast took a while but we were now ready to drive the course.

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Friday, August 24, 2007

A little more about Check In

Jeepers! They are very organized.

First, you sign in and show them your USAT number. If you are not a member, you must buy a one day membership for $10.

Then you look up your number if you don't already know it and get into line to pick up your packet.

When you get to the front, you tell the volunteer your number which he yells it out. The first thing you notice is a long row of tables with a seated volunteer on one side and an empty chair on the other. When the number is yelled out, another volunteer behind the row of seated volunteers, finds the packet and delivers it to the next available volunteer.

You take a seat and on the table they have all the materials. It should be noted that there is only one chair - for the participant. Accompanying family and friends are expected to stand behind the chair in a quiet and respectful manner and stay well out of the way! The volunteer then goes over every single thing in the packet - how and when to wear the race numbers, the bike number, the helmet number, the numbers for 5 bags you will have in your race bag and when to turn the bags in and what they will be used for, the dinner and banquet tickets, everything else. Amazing.

Then you go to get weighed. I already told you how I feel about this. Ahem...

Then you go and get a t-shirt. You tell them the size. You can even try it on if you want to. Very efficient.

Then they hand you the bag of bags. You can use it to store all the stuff you've been handed. There are 5 bags in the bag. 2 blue, 2 red, and 1 green.

One blue bag is for the swim to bike transition. The red bag is for the bike to run transition. These must be turned in with the bike by 5PM the day before the race.

The second blue bag is special needs for the bike portion. They hand it to you if you want it while you are doing the bike leg. This is to hold any special food or gear you might need. You do not get these back. The second red bag is the special needs bag for the run. Same thing.

The green bag is the morning bag. You put into it what you take off before the swim and they have it for you at the finish.

It's all very organized and very confusing. It also means you have to plan ahead carefully. I guess it's par for the course for triathletes. They have to be very organized to train for three sports! I can see most of my running friends totally failing at triathlon organization 101. They wait til the morning of the marathon or half marathon to figure out how the planets have aligned and then decide what shoes to wear. Then change their minds 3 more times. And that's only the shoes! If you throw the bike and the swim in, they'd never make it out the door!

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Dinner with friends we never met

What a day. After lunch began the long, what I was soon going to find out, was a two-day process of registering and checking in for the Ironman. After lunch, we went back to the room, unpacked, piddled briefly, and then we went across to the main hotel building (Galt House is two or three buildings altogether and is the host hotel) to register.

They have an unbelievably organized and almost-personalized check in process. I took a lot of pictures of the whole thing and when they looked at me, I said, "Photo essay." That pretty much shut everyone up...no more questions!

They gave Joseph a wristband identifying him as a competitor and he can't take it off until AFTER the race. Not sure how I would like having something like that on my wrist for that long.

At one point, he had to get weighed. This is so that if he should collapse (God forbid) on the road, they can weigh him to see how dehydrated he is. That is the point at which, if I had ever had any doubts in my mind - which I did not - about doing one of these stupid races, all delusions went right out the window. I mean, NO ONE weighs me! Not even my doctor! I tell her my weight that morning after I have peed, pooped, and taken off every stitch of removable item I possibly can - and she accepts it as truth and writes it down. And you can bet that I will not be weighed fully clothed with SHOES on AFTER I've ingested 10 pounds of food and drink! Helllooooo.....

Okay, whatever...

I was pretty tired after all that and didn't get to rest too much given that we were meeting complete strangers for dinner. Now I am used to doing this but this time I am the draggee as opposed to the dragger of someone to a dinner like this...

Tonight, we went to Porcini's for dinner. We were meeting with fellow triathletes from the Tri-DRS list. It's a group sub group of people who do tris that are a part of the dead runners society. OF course, as all groups of this nature, there are people who belong to Tri-DRS that do not belong to DRS now.

We met Drew and Leslie who are together and from Colorado. We also met Jawad, friends with Drew and Leslie from Colorado, but from Iowa. I also met Steven, and his wife and daughter (ARG! I can't remember their names), who are still living in Iowa. While the triathletes were discussing their triathlete stuff, I had a very fun and enjoyable time with the Iowa family, who were there to support Jawad. We discussed everything from what it's like to be supporters to what the hell grows in Iowa and what do people who live there do for a living or for fun? I mean, really! LOL! They all took it in stride and we had some great laughs over it all.

Porcini's was pretty good. Italian, as the name suggests but it did not have your typical Italian-y stuff on it - no ragu or bolognese sauce, which was too bad because I was in the mood for something like that. Anyway, I ended up finding something I like.

It's also in an interesting area of Louisville. It is quite literally on "the other side of the tracks." When you first drive across the tracks, you take a right or a left and it looks rather depressed. But you look more closely and you see all these restaurants - looks a bit trendy looks a bit ragged but these upscale restaurants are intermingled with gritty looking bars, the LV version of tenanment house-looking apartments, small shops, and boutiques. And right across the street are the train tracks that are being used by some pretty big and heavy duty looking trains today!

I would recommend Porcini's. And in fact, I saw a lot of other places I would have liked to have tried. I was bummed out that we weren't staying long enough to go back!

Exercise Note. Of course I did nothing. Unless you count my running around from building to building in 95 degree heat as caloric expenditure above and beyond what it takes to live. Ahem.

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The Land of Sweet Tea

We're in Louisville. We left early this morning and got breakfast down the road at some non-descript local diner place. Cher and Milt are coming down tomorrow.

Did I run?
Hahahahahahahahahaha!
Of course not. We were in a hurry!

Anyway, we got to LV around lunch time and checked into the Galt House where we met a very nice bellman who told us to "go to "cravens" for lunch. It's in the basement of the National City building a block down."

"Just take the escalator down. The food's good and the price is right."

We check in, get settled into the room and off we go to find "cravens."

We find the building, ride the escalator and behold before us, a cafeteria with "Cravings" over the entrance. LOL! We hadn't considered the southern accent!

And he was right. The food was good and the price was right. I ended up with cornbread stuffing, green beans with bacon, and fried chicken. Delicious! In all the time I've been in Boston, I've been on the search for good fried chicken. And where do I find it? In Louisville, Kentucky in a business cafeteria called Cravings! And they had real sweet tea, too!

I am going to stop looking for real southern fried chicken in Boston from now on.

Now, I just need to find that country ham.

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Thursday, August 23, 2007

An exercise in gastronomic gluttony

What does that remind you of? Over eating? Pigging out? Nay, I say... try imaging the Greek orgies of lore where they actually had these things called "vomitoriums" where one would go so they could return to the table (or proverbial dining couch) to continue eating and binging...

Okay. Maybe not that bad but if you crave fried food, to go Nova on Sandusky in Delaware Ohio. Everything there is either fried or oversized. Or oversalted. We met Julie and Jim at Nova for dinner. I had heard that they had said it was so good. No wonder why. When we sat down to order, Julie ordered the healthiest things on the menu! And when we tried a sample of her food, well... suffice it to say that other than "healthy", we didn't know how to describe it really.

I had a taste of the fried pickles. And wondered what all the rave was about.

I also had a taste of the fried cheese. Arguably the best thing on the menu.

I ordered the meatloaf wrapped in bacon. It was a pre-cooked meatloaf that had been pan fried right before serving. It was salty. Served on a bed of mashed potatoes. Also salty. Covered in au jus gravy - very very salty. It was a shame that I hadn't run a marathon before dinner - all that salt just went to waste.

A couple of people had the giant sized roast beef sandwich, so big it was overwhelming to look at, let alone eat. I guess it wasn't bad but if you really looked closely, there wasn't a lot of meat inj the double decker sandwich - it was a lot of double thick bread.

And then there was the deep friend jalapeno burger. It was a burger where the meet had been deep fried in batter. It was placed between two thick halves of a kaiser rolled, on a thin bed of lettuce and tomato (anything more would have been too healthy), topped off with an inch thick slice of fried onion ring. It was about 8 inches thick. Jim handily finished it off though. I have no idea how!

Anyway, we all agreed afterwards that there was nothing to really mention about the meal except for the fact that the items were so over the top in excess that you didn't have time to determine if there was any quality because they drowned you in quantity and size.

If you are in that area, don't go there. Service wasn't all that great either.

The company was great, of course, and sometimes that can make up for the worst of situations. Jim and Julie are so nice and I am glad we got to see them on this trip. But we decided that next time, we are not letting Jim and Julie pick the restaurant.

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Mythical creatures

We are taking a rest day today from traveling and hanging out at Cher and Milt's. Nothing much going on. Ahhhh.... sweet silence, solitary existence, no one but me and the dogs... and Joe, and Cher, and... Milt is gone to work...

This morning, went for my 30 minute run. I was strangely looking forward to it for a bit. Then I walked outside and the heat of the morning caught me offguard. I got over it.

I ran the bike path around Muirfield Village - out the back door, through the yard, on the path, through the lawns, take a right instead of going under the road, and hit the cool seclusion of the woods.

Then I see it. A statue of a deer. Jeez. Pretty big statue. So life-like. Why would anyone keep a life-size statue of a deer in their back yard? The ear flickers, the knee twitches... OMG! ARE YOU KIDDING ME??? It's not a statue, it's for real!!! GAKKKKKK!!!

I slow down. The deer is as still as can be except for the occasional flicker. I am seriously close. About 10 feet from me. It's giving me the "Gaze." So I slow way down and I move to hug the left side of the bike path which is only about 3 feet wide.

Then I see them. Side by side. Two little deer. Tiny white spots still visible on their backs. Four feet from me, right next to the bike path.

I almost start crying because they are so beautiful and so wonderful, all at the same time.

I keep going a ways and then I turn around. I follow the same path back home. And there it is. A bigger deer. A BIG ONE! EGADS! On the right side of the bike path, between the path and a fence surrounding the golf course in about 3 feet of grass space. I slow wayyyyy down but as I approach it bounds away across the path to my left, and through a line of trees and into a clearing - might have been someone's large yard, about 30 feet away, stops, turns and stares at me with the gaze.

I am so happy I ran today. So happy. I can't describe it. What is it about deer? Beautiful creatures, bordering on the mythical, reminding me of unicorns, innocence and purity...

I hope this bodes well for the Ironman for Joseph.


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Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Ironman Road Trip

So, we are off to Louisville, Kentucky.

Land of sweet tea.
Home of country ham.
And grits.
Yup yup yup.

The plan today was to drive as far as we could and either get to Ohio and stay over at our good friends', Milt and Cher's, house for the night or stay in a hotel along the way. Given that it was still light out with only a couple of hours to drive, we decided that getting to Ohio was a good choice.

We arrived at 10:30pm, give or take a few minutes.

We have been to their house so much that it really feels like home!
And it is always good to see Milt and Cher.

Before leaving this morning, I ended up riding for 8 miles - took about 30 minutes. Knew I had to do something since I was going to be sitting in a car of 12 hours or so. I packed my running gear but I am not looking forward to running in drought-like conditions! We will see what happens.

Anyway, for dinner we had a choice of Cracker Barrel or Perkins Family Restaurants. It wasn't bad but I wished we had gone to the Cracker Barrel. Well, you live and learn. Next time...

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100 Favorite Things #7: My Buckey

Okay. A non-food item. Unless you consider the buckwheat husks in my Buckey pillow are edible. Which I do not.

My Buckey. I love my Buckey. It has a natural hemp cloth covering - totally organic.

I take it with me everywhere. And I mean everywhere. It's been camping with me and on all my travels pretty much - including India, California, Greece, etc. And if I do not have it, I. FREAK. OUT. And I pout. I do not make a good traveling partner at that point.

I love my Buckey.
When I die I want to be buried with it.
Unless I am cremated.
Then I want to be cremated with it.
Haven't decided exactly how I will make my final exit.

The only thing that has bothered me about the Buckey has to do with Dust Mites. They are everywhere, especially in pillows.
For the last year or two, I've been thinking of opening up the inner casing to give the husks an inspection.


Hmmm. Not sure if that is wise...

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On our way to Ohio...

that is our stop before we get to Louisville for the Ironman.
Right now, we are on I-80 in PA. It's where big trucks go to die. I've never see so many trucks in my life. I guess interstate trucking is alive and well in this country - more than ever. It's amazing what you see if you step out of your local little world...

And construction. There is so much construction. Remind me why I never travel this road...


Anyway, we will get to our friends, Cher and Milt's, place tonight. ETA is around 10:30pm.

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Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Allergy season is back!

I am sneezing and blowing my nose.

ALL DAY!!!

What is it at this time of year???

Must be those dust mites I hate!

GAH!

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100 Favorite Things #6: Spam

Okay. We've discussed it before. I just felt I had to officially write it down.

And did you notice that all my favorite things to date are food items?
Yup. Don't even think that it's been lost on me...

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Week 33 Training Recap

Alrighteeeeee.... let's talk about the goals. Workout for 6 days and stretch more. Hmmm.... seems easy enough. Let's see how I did.

Monday: 3 mile recovery run. It's starting to be a pattern. Go out on the weekend, haul butt riding all around and logging some major mileage, then end up so pooped on Monday morning that if you never saw another bike, well, you'd never know about it.

Tuesday: Ended up back on the bike. 15.76 miles in a little over an hour. Another part of the pattern is to wait a day and then you can't wait to get on the bike again.

Wednesday: Rode 12.1 miles in about 45 minutes. Easy spinning!

Thursday: Rode 20.5 miles in an hour and 15 minutes. Felt good...

Friday: Rest day. Just did not feel like it.

Saturday: Rode 32.5 miles. I started out feeling like I was going to do more around 60 miles. I decided to see how things felt. After a few hours, I was like, uh... nah...

Sunday: The rest did me good. Ended up with 51.3 miles. Not 60, exactly but not too shabby all the same.

Total Biking Miles: 132.16 miles
Total Running Miles: 3.03
Total Walking Miles: 0 - haven't gotten a new pedometer
Total Swimming Laps: 0 - if I can help it, it will remain 0
Total Stretching Days: 4 - getting better at this

Workouts: 6
Total Time: 08:56:18
Total Dist.: 135.2 Miles
Cal. Burned: 5624

This week will be challenging. First, tomorrow we are heading out to Louisville, Kentucky for Ironman. We are driving. I can't take my bike. No room at the inn! GAH! Anyway, that means I am packing a week's worth of running gear. This is scary. It's been about 2 months since I did any real running. The wimpy Monday morning recovery runs do. not. count. I am trying to get my brain into running mode - trying to convince myself that if I can do 30 minutes of biking, I can do 30 minutes of running. If I can schedule in an hour of biking, why not an hour of running. Hmmm... as hard as I might think, I just can't come up with a reason. Unless you count that fact that I am not looking forward to the pounding or lugging my fat ass carcass up a daggum hill - and yes, LOUISVILLE IS HILLY! AND HOT! ARG!!!!

So, the goal is to not wimp out and run at least once during the trip.
Don't wanna get too ambitious, ya know...

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Random Thoughts: Alcatraz

Never been there.
It suddenly occurred to me today that I've never been there.
Of all the times that I've been out to San Francisco, you think I would take a few hours and take a tour?

Don't be silly.
Of course not.
Wine country was waiting!

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Saturday, August 18, 2007

Holey Moley!







Which Wind in the Willows character are you?

So, Abby Wabby had this stupid test she told me to take. She is a Moley. Joseph is a Moley. She thought I was a Toad or something. A TOAD! So I take this test. I am a Moley.

I have no idea what a Moley is. But what do I care? WHY would she think that I would be any different than her? We are the same people, she and I. In fact, she, Joseph, and I are alike. Even identical in many ways. Everytime we get together, this fact is clear. How could she think otherwise??

Oh. I get it. We haven't gotten together in a while. Sigh...

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We have stairs

Here are some latest pictures of the work being done on the house. The main staircase is being put in. We are also testing out some paint colors for the master bedroom and bath. We have settled on a dark gray-blue for the bedroom and a light warm peachy cream for the bathroom. The living room is done pretty much. They have to go over it with final coast and clean up splatters, etc. The main entry floors came out really nice.

Things are moving along but they get going and then they stop for a day or two. It's making me nutz! Thus... a house with every room in some state of unfinishedness. Sigh...

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Living two lives

What a week. I have concluded that I cannot try and live two lives. At least, not at the same time.

All last week, I went into work at my usual time. After my workout. The difference was that I left work early, as in around 5 pm, when the normal people of world leave work. They sit at their desks, all packed up, bracing themselves for the long hand to get to the 12. And then they are gone. I have actually witnessed this for myself and found is exceedingly odd. Why work at a job that you can't wait to get away from? But that is a topic for another day. Anyway...

Typically, when I go to work, I am there for 9 hours after I arrive. I pack dinner, and I work until 7 or 8. If there is a lot of work, I leave at 9 and take a dreaded cab home (only dreaded because I have to speak to the cab driver - yes, you heard that right). And most of my work is done after 2pm because I am a night person and that is when I can concentrate the best, work the fastest, and do more work than I can earlier in the day.

Anyway, Joe had a friend in town. She was staying at a hotel half a mile from us and Joseph wanted to meet her for dinner. So I joined them. For three days. I left work early. Sigh... Needless to say, I was DROWNING IN WORK!!!

Then on Friday, Joseph had a tri in Ipswich. Okay. Know where Ipswich is from Brookline? Yah. Through Boston. Up the coast. The other side of the world. Not easy to get to. And the race started at 5 or 6 or something like that. I mean... WHO schedules a race in BFE on a FRIDAY at 5 or 6 PEE EMM??? HMMMMM????? Yah. No one. Except for this stupid race. Uh huh.

On Friday, I had an event in the RI Office. So I got there around 10. I had an hour of meetings, an hour of work, a 2-hour lunch event, from which I left to come home and just made it at 3 PEE EMM. Because we had to leave at 3:30 to make it to that Tri.

I get home, and there is Joseph. Running around, all excited... etc etc etc. The usual Joseph Things that he does - humming, piddling, packing, preparing, etc etc etc. And he looks I me, and I am NOT. Happy. I take all my stuff up to the office and log in. 30 minutes. I have 30 minutes... And I have a software upgrade that could take an hour. I have to upgrade or I can't do my work. WHY? Because, if you do not do the upgrade, your laptop slows down to such an excruciatingly slow speed that you can hear it grinding away and actually feel it's pain. Yah. NOt pretty. And if you insist on delaying, your laptop siezes up, goes into convulsions, blinks away, and hangs. Anyway...

He comes up, I starting bitching and moaning, groaning and waling, and whoa-is-me'ing. He says I can stay home.

Stay home? Really??
I told him, "I can't live my life and live yours too."
He agrees that we sort of have opposite schedules.
I said, "Coming home early every day has killed me this week".
He said, "ok, so don't come."
I said, "And I got ONE HOUR of work done today. I can't do this. Live my life and run around with you trying to live yours too!" [sniffle sniffle sniffle]
He said, "ok, stay home, work and I'll call you later."
Really? Oh....

I hated to stay home. We don't do much stuff apart from each other. And racing is so important to him and this race has a special place in his heart. Even if it's a PIA to get to... ahem...

I want to be there to support him. So important. HWINLIML never supported me in my races. Never. Not unless I promised all sorts of things. And it's so important to me to be there for Joseph. But he could see I was stressing out to the point of implosion. So, I stayed home. And I worked. Until 10pm (when he finally came home) and caught up with the top 5 things on my very long list of things to do.

I will say that amidst the angst of working piling up, I met Jenn. Friend of Joe's, but now friend of mine. Really. We are a lot alike. We are both INTJ's and are learned 'extroverts" because we can function in a crowd. We like similar things and I feel like I've known her forever. Poor Joseph. At one point, we even told him at dinner "this isn't about you!" when the conversation came around to what we like (country ham, grits and biscuits) and he tried to participate. LOLOL.

And then, Jo came to visit. She handed in her dissertation at 4:30PM on Thursday and drove 2 hours to join us for dinner. From the first moment I met her a year ago (I think it was a year ago), there was no need for conversation or getting to know her. That would come. It was just comfortable. Like we'd known each other forever.

It's a shame that Jenn lives in Maryland and Jo is moving to San Diego. Sigh... But they promise to visit and eat my cooking! Yahoo!

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Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Obsessed

I am becoming obsessed with country ham and biscuits.
God help me...

I've been thinking about this for a while now.
The salty crunchy ham slapped between fresh baked country biscuits or served alongside a side of eggs and a plate o' grits - all slow cooked and homemade.
Then the Boston Globe had an article about it and now I am obsessed! OBSESSED!!!

I need to get myself a uncooked Smithfield Country Ham.
Now these are the king of all country hams.
The high salt content of country hams make them great snacks for endurance athletes.
Maybe when we are in Kentucky next week we will pop into a gas station and find them hanging along the rafters in burlap sacks! And I can get on then...

Ugh.
I might have to order me one!
ARG!!!

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Unusual sighting at work

An all-woman elevator going up to the eighth floor.
Don't know what happened afterwards, because that's where I got out.

Highly unusual at this company...

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Can you think of anything worse???

Aftrer switching trains from the wonderful, empty trolley to the nasty crowded red line at Park Street Station, I saw a buncha Japanese girls dressed as Geishas. GEISHAS!
About 10 of them.
They were preceeded by a group of Japanese boys dressed in white shirts, ties, and black trousers.


The boys moved down the platform away from the girls.
The girls stopped right next to me.
And they all had dyed their hair brown.
LIGHT BROWN.
WHY???

I don't even get it.
Anyway...

I can't even begin to tell you how all this made me feel.
And judging from the faces of the non-Japanese Asians in the crowd, I could see that they felt pretty much the same way... Some things are never forgotten. It's the human condition. Even among those of us who try to live consciously every single day.

Sigh...

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Happiness is...

An empty trolley.

Even better, being at the front when the doors opens so you can have your pick of any seat you want.


Exercise Note: Biked 12.1 miles in around 45 minutes. On the trainer for an easy spin.

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Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Be Good

A B.Good's opened up two doors down - at the end of the block - from us. From the moment we got the notice at the beginning of the year that the town board was going to review a request to open a restaurant, to the beginning and end of construction, we have been anticipating the opening, which is officially tomorrow but unofficially tonight.

We walked over around 6pm spurred on by hunger and were met by one of the guys who would be working there. They are opening tomorrow night, but tonight unofficially, they are giving out free burgers at 7pm.

Free brugers?
Well... alrightee then...
We walk back to the house telling each other - we're not that hungry, a little cheese and crackers to tide us over, and then back at 7pm for dinner! What more could we ask for?

So, it was.
At 7pm, we went back.
I had the b.good burger with carmelized onions, mushrooms and garlickly greens (spinach).
Joseph had the el guapo, which had some jalapeno mustard or sauce, and avocado.
This has to be one of the best burgers I've ever had. It was juicy and light. Yes. LIGHT! The menu had the fat grams and for the b.good, 8 grams of fat. The chicken and turkey burgers had more fat than that! Sheesh.

Tomorrow is the grand opening.
But I am thinking of scooting out of work early.

Burger, anyone?

Exercise Note: 15.76 miles in 1 hour and 8. Same route as last week - only 2 minutes faster!

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Monday, August 13, 2007

Floors are in!

In the first floor entry way, that is.

They didn't finish it - they just installed it.

Wednesday, the main staircase is being delivered and put in. Not sure what the process is or what it's going to end up like, but due to all the work that will be going on, they decided to put the stairs in first, then finish installing the floors on the second floor, and then refinish the floors in the entry.

Eventually, they have to finish ALL the floors on the first floor - not sure how that is going to be done! On the second floor, they will finish the master bath and bedroom. Then we will move into the new space and they will come back and finish up the last two bedrooms on the second floor.

I know it's all going to get done but this piece meal fashion is making me crazy!

Exercise Note: 37 minutes of running. Actually, slogging. I suck.

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Sunday, August 12, 2007

Week 32 Training Recap

This week's goals:

  1. Work out 6 days out of 7

  2. Put together a small home weight lifting schedule - okay. I didn't do this last week. And I didn't do it this week either. I am putting this one on hold for now. I'm too busy to even think about it!

    Monday: I was so tired from the weekend of biking that I decided to hop on the treadmill and just powerwalk. 1.87 miles in 30 minutes. Incline of 3%.

    Tuesday: Rest day. Had an early doctor's appointment. Thought I would come home early and work out.... HAHAHAHAHAHA! Right.

    Wednesday: Rode 9.5 miles in 35 minutes. Piece of cake!

    Thursday: 12.7 miles in about 45 minutes. Feeling good...

    Friday: Rest day. Can't remember why.

    Saturday: I had a terrific ride - almost 48 miles. Rode with Joseph again. I was his "easy" portion of the long ride he had scheduled. Whatever. I gotta get a new bike. Stupid crank, stupid dereilleurs, stupid chain... The whole thing is about 15 years old. I have the cheapest Shimano components from back them - the RSX. And it shows. Shifting is so harsh sometimes that my foot unclicks itself out of the clips. Anyway... later on the new bike. We still have to pay for the dust bowl money pit and eat ramen noodles for a year!

    Sunday: 15.72 miles in about an hour ten. This week I listened to Joseph and did not go out and do back to back long rides. I didn't know how I would feel about that but I ended up being okay with it. This is because I didn't fell like going to bed at 2 inthe afternoon!

    Total Biking Miles: Rode 82.4 miles in 5 hours 50 minutes. I am bummed that I didn't make it to a hundred mile week.

    Total Running Miles: 0. The thought of all that pounding...I wonder if that 1.87 mile power walk counts?

    Total Walking Miles: I lost my pedometer. I left it in the ladies room at work. I went back and hour later and it was gone. No one turned it into the admin. Blast! Until I lost it, I had walked 18.8 miles in 5 days.

    Total Swimming Laps: 0

    Total Stretching Days: 2

Next week's goal continues to be work out 6 days.

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Monday, August 06, 2007

House Report

Okay. So. Let's talk about the house while I am taking a break from work. Ahem. Besides, it's been a while since I posted about it.

Let's see. What has been done? That is a big question. Asking what has NOT been done is even a bigger question. All in all, if you ask me, I would say it is only 60% done. If I am in a good mood, I'd give it 70%. If you ask Joseph, he'd say 90%. Yah. It's a male-female thing.

Let's start with the first floor.

The Front Door:
It's in. It's stained - somewhat. Finishing coats and poly have to go on.
The side lights are being worked on. The stained glass is restored and in. But the tempered glass is not, so you can't see it from the outside, only from the inside.
The door handle has been picked out but our first choice does not match the glass "leading" which is brass. The handle is pewter, I think. The storm door is ordered and ready to be picked up.

The First floor:
It's all plastered and they are priming it.
The floors in the four rooms are done with a first coat of poly.
The center entry floor is not done. It's plywood.
The grand staircase is not in. It's still plywood. We are waiting for the plasters to finish up on the second floor. All the entry way woodwork is stained with a first coat. More coats to go. All the moldings are not in yet. They either being restored or we are putting in replicas.

The Kitchen:
It's done. Except for the tiling, the painting, the tin ceiling, the finish cabinetry work, a couple of cabinet doors, and the window casing above the sink. Oh, and the uber special super secret cubby that Scotty is designing is not done.

The Bathroom on the first floor:
Almost done. We have to put a second coat of paint on the walls, get the shower door installed, get the medicine cabinet installed, the overhead light/blower installed, get the hardware fixtures and install them. The slinding door has a first coat of stain on it. More coats to go along with many coats of poly.


The Butlers Hallway/Pantry:
The cabinets are in, the glass is not. The sink and counters are in but some clean up remains. The lighs have to go in but that will be done with the rest of the entry. The floor is not in but that will be done, again, with the front entry.

The Dining Room:
Being prepped for paint. We have three colors on the walls. Cannot decide which one to go with. I want red. But none of them are just right. Sigh...

The Mudroom:
The door is going to be stained. The storm door with the doggie door is in. Thank goodness! The dog can now go in and out at her leisure without me being at her mercy! The cement has been laid and the tile is being positioned by the Tile Man. Rumor has it that it will be done by next week and the tiling of the kitchen can commence.

The Second Floor Landing:
The library is done - the door is in and the walls are plaster. It is still "raw." It needs crown molding, painting, etc. And the floor needs to be installed.

The ceiling has to be plastered over and the walls need to be plastered in a few spots.

There is a stained glass window that needs to be restored and put back into the library.

The Master Bedroom:
Furniture is out, the ceiling needs sanding. We have stained glass that needs to be restored. The floor needs to be redone - sanded, stained, poly'd.

The Master Bedroom:
This is the most exciting of all. OMG! The tiling is almost done! The We still have to put in all the fixtures and appliances - tub, toilet, vanity, etc. It is gonna be BEAUTIFUL!

Front Guest Room:We are using it as a living room. We have to move out and then paint the room. Stained glass needs to be restored.

Back Guest Rooom:Again, we are using it but we have to move out. Need to paint.

Third Floor Landing:
Needs to be painted.

Office:
Needs to be cleaned up and the window needs to be painted.

First Guest Room:
Window needs to be painted and walls/trim need to be touched up.

Second Guest Room:

It's a DISASTER!!! Everything needs to be done to it except for the floors.

Workout Room:

Finish painting.

If I have time, I will post pictures.
Of course, I have to take them first.
So, don't hold your breath.

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Week 31 Training Recap

Okay. First of all, let me just say that my entire body HURTS! I am wracked with pain! The tightness from crashing into the SUV, my shoulder, my bruises, and now the added insult of my entire upper arms hurting from golf... yes, I hav deltoids, and I know where they are and I know how many "heads" a single deltoid is made of! I am my own anatomy session from pain!!!

Of course, rest assured, I will go back and out do this again. Maybe next weekend...

I got out of bed this morning and decided that I have a bit of fatigue. So. I decided to power walk on the treadmill. 30 minutes. 1.87 miles. I deserve a break. Okay. I walked on a 3% incline just to ratchet things up a notch. Because I can't just WALK! It's too easy to WALK!

So, last week, the workouts:

Monday: Biked easy for 7.8 miles. Only 30 minutes.

Tuesday: Biked for just over an hour for a total of 17.8 miles. Not too shabby at all. I am starting to like alternating hard days with easy days. This was a hard day. Tomorrow will be an easy day - another 30 to 45 minutes, depending on my schedule.

Wednesday: Biked for 35 minutes. 9.3 miles.

Thursday: We had a meeting that started at 7:45 so I had to take the rest day. Yes. 7:45 AYYY EMMMM! In the MORNING! Sheesh.

Friday: Rode for an hour. 17 miles. Felt good. Worried about tomorrow's ride outside. Wondering if I pushed it too hard.

Saturday: It's my birthday. Went out and biked for 2 hours, 26 minutes, and 56 seconds covering around 35.15 miles. Crashed into the tail end of a parked car.

Sunday: Rode on the trainer for 2 hours, 45 minutes, 1 second. Covered 45.65 miles. I am a little tired.

Total Biking Miles: 132.7 miles - a total of 8 hours 20 minutes for the week!
Total Running Miles: Nada
Total Walking Miles: 22.61 miles walking all over the place.
Total Swimming Laps: 0
Total Stretching Days: 2 - I have to get this number up to at least 5 days. You would think I could do this while I was acting like a couch potato in front of the TV every night!

Next week's goal continues to be work out 6 days. I need to do that lifting schedule. But I am torn between adding a run or a lift. Have to figure this out.

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Sunday, August 05, 2007

A record week!

I think I broke a record. I got up this morning with the firm idea planted in my brain that I had to ride. So I did. This time, I rode on the trainer in the workout room.

Joseph had told me 20 miles. Well, I got to 20 mile and it was so easy that I thought it seemed silly to waste all the energy I had left. So I kept going.
I hit 25 miles and I had a good song on the iPod so I kept going.
Then I hit 30 and it seemed silly to stop 5 miles shorts of what I had ridden yesterday so I kept going.
The at 35, I thought, "well... I can't stop at yesterday's mileage. That is just silly...." So I kept going.
Then I hit 40 and I thought, "that's good. I was gonna do that last weekend but couldn't." And then I remembered that if last weekend was 40, then this weekend was 45, so I kept going.
Until I hit 45.65.

Hmmm... I was hoping that Joseph wouldn't ask. But he did. Blast! He tried to explain it to me - why I should have done 20. Hmmm... well... okay.
"It's like back long runs," I tried to explain it to him.
But he said, "yes, it's like a 20 miler and a 26 miler back to back."
Oh. Hmmm....
Well. Ok.

Anyway... after all was said and done, he dragged us to the driving range and I hit a small bucket of balls. Of course Joseph got a jumbo bucket so I borrowed some of his balls. And John the Nephew got a medium bucket but he was so slow that he had half his ball left when Joseph and I were done. So I borrowed some of his balls, too.

I wondering how I will feel tomorrow. I ended up with a total 8 hours and 20 minutes of working out for the week. I did 5 hours and 15 minutes of that in two days. I think I need to add more hours to the middle of the week instead of saving it all up for the weekends. I also think that is about the most amount of time I've spent working out in a long time - like in about 15 years or something like that.

On another note, dinner last night turned out terrific. We boiled the lobster. The best part was telling Elizabeth the Niece how the Lobsters shake their claws and screech "whee whee whee" in high pitched screams as they are dunked into the boiling water. She left the room.

We also had fresh corn on the cob - grilled. And we had fresh steamed green beans. For the appetizer, we had bufalo mozzarella with plum tomatoes topped off with fresh basil and extra virgin olive oil. Along with a nice bottle of Schramsberg Sparking Wine.

Tonight, we had the leftover lobster for appetizers. I made a nice lobster salad and I combined it with fresh slices of avocado. It was accompanied by a nice Laphroig 15 year single malt Scotch. Excellent. Then for dinner, I made Korean Dumplings. About 80 of them. Yes. EIGHTY! All pan fried and accompanied by the usual Korean accompaniments. We had a Dutch Henry Pinot Noir - excellent excellent!!!

Now that I have the big lobster pot, I can make fresh lobster salad whenever I want! And now that I have the big commercial freezer, I have enough ingredients to make another 1000 dumplings at least! Yahoo!

I bet if we had to, we could live almost a year off the food that we already have in the house. Happy Happy Happy!!

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Saturday, August 04, 2007

Happy Birthday to Me!

A couplathings. First, It's my birthday. I am 48 years old. There. I said it. It's something I always avoid saying... the number... because I do not feel like I am that old. In fact, I know that I don't act that old, so why should I BE that old? Hmmm??? Right. I think not. I always think that I am much younger. This year, I feel like I am 32.

But, sometimes I feel older than I am, too. When work is dragging me down with too much to do. I remember when I used to do nothing at work - it was all easy and everything took care of itself. I had outgrown my responsibilities and was sort of hanging out. Anyway... these days, things are conspiring to make me feel old a lot more often than I like!

The good news is that I look younger than my counterparts. Partially due to good genes and my constant battle with sun rays. Biologically, I am supposedly at least 10 years younger than I am. Every health test I take at work says that I am in something like the 95th percentile for health. Thank goodness. My mother died when she was around 54. I have at least 6 good years in me. We will see what happens.

Second, yesterday, Joseph brought me a beautiful bouquet of flowers. As always, the perfect color, size, quantity and type. There are lots of orangey, yellowy, reddish flowers with happy faces. There is even a sunflower. One of my most favorites.

Third, he brought home lobster. Real ones. Six of them. Yahoo!

Fourth, John the Nephew is home and he picked up Elizabeth the Niece from violin camp. And I will have my family together with me as we celebrate my day.

Today is the day when I am going to do whatever I feel like doing. I implemented this last year. I decided that I am special, as special as anyone else around me. And if they can consider their birthday to be a special day, then so will I. It was weird at first but I got used to it.

So, I did the usual "comfort tasks." I went to the grocery store. I went to buy a gigantical pot to cook the lobsters.

And I also went for a bike ride. 35.15 miles. I rode with Joseph. He took a 3 mile detour and I had to stop and wait for him to catch up. Riding in the big gear makes me faster with less effort. On the flats, I was riding at around 19-21 mph. On the downhills, the fastest I hit was about 29-30 mph. Hills are an entirely separately issue.

On the way home, I could tell I was getting really tired. At a couple of traffic lights, I almost fell over to the left side. I unclick my right foot when I have to stop and I typically know that I can't move to the left or I will fall over. But my brain couldn't think so I basically caught myself trying to move over with my left foot clicked in. At least I caught myself in time before I hit the pavement.

Then going up Heartbreak Hill in Newton on the Boston Marathon Course, I basically ran into a parked car. Do not laugh! I look down from all the effort of getting up hill. And I look up every few pedals. This time I didn't look around in time and I slammed into the back end of an SUV! To show for it, I have two really nasty bruises on the inside of both arms - nasty bruises right below the elbow bend on the tender part. And my right shoulder is killing me! Ugh! I cannot wait until tomorrow when all pain intensifies. I love pain. ARG!!! Anyway...

It was a wonderful day. Full of Peace, love, happiness from my Hunny Bunnny and John the Nephew and Elizabeth the Niece.


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Friday, August 03, 2007

Secret to weight loss!

One. Word.

SANDWICHES!!!

Okay. Everyone knows I hate sandwiches. It's true. However, I LOVE HOT sandwiches. Hot Pastrami on Rye. Hot roast beef with cheddar, horseradish, and caramelized onions. Throw in a slice of granny smith apple and I am good to go. I love Cubans or pressed sandwiches. Meatball subs. Hot corned Beef with stone ground mustard, red onion. How about a nice panini?

Yes. I hate sandwiches that are cold. A piece of meat, slapped between two slices of bread with mayo and mustard. Ugh. I'd rather not eat.

So, I noticed that on the few occasions when a lunch meeting has my sandwich of choice (the aforementioned roast beef sandwich), I eat half and save the other half for later. The day I did that, I was full and I didn't over eat. A few times I brought a grilled corned beef sandwich with soup which I heated up in the microwave for about 20 seconds for a perfectly warm sandwich, I noticed that I did not overeat and I thoroughly enjoyed my meal. The last two days, I had the same aforementioned roast beef sandwich - half at lunch and half at dinner - and I've lost weight. Yes. Two. Pounds. Ok. It's water mostly but it's a start! Don't even think of raining on my parade!!!!

Anyhoo... I think I've found the secret. Love hot sandwiches. Love soups. I can have a half a sandwich and a cuppa soup. I can eat this in the office, at home, or out with a group. This is good news, people! VERY GOOD NEWS!!! And since I didn't grow up on sandwiches, I don't know how to overeat on sandwiches. Not like rice. Where I grew up eating two cups for every meal... yes, we had rice for breakfast. That is what Koreans do! Eat the same thing every day for breakfast lunch and dinner. There is no such thing as bacon and eggs. And pancakes. Unless it is filled with scallions and kimchee and eating with RICE! Anyway, when those two cups are done, you go back for SECONDS!!! Do you know how many calories are in a cup of rice??? Yeah. Go look it up. Doot doot doot doot doo... Yup. Medium Grained White Rice. Yup yup yup. It's a lot.

I am working from home today.
Of course I will have my Udon Noodle Soup.
Why have a sandwich when I can have Noodle Soup??
Sheesh.

Bike Note. 17 miles this morning. Yahoo!

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Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Joseph went and got a new bike yesterday.
Oh, he didn't tell you?
Musta forgot.
He went with his old bike to get fitted.
And wah-lah! He came out with a new bike.
I guess, his old one didn't fit him anymore.
Well, if I had known that, I would have taken my bike in to get fitted a long time ago. Who knew?

His bike will be ready on Monday.
He thinks I should go with him to pick it up.
So that I can see this place. Yes. The PLACE that magically fits you with new bikes

Hmmm...Maybe it's time for me to get fitted after all...
Sheesh.

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