Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Swimming

I just signed up for the lottery at the town pool for the adult swim class. No. I do not like the water. I especially do not like the feel of it touching my person! So, why?

Because I am a sucker for masochism and self-punishment.
Because I need something else to complain about!
Because I am a dolt!

I can swim. But I want to be able to float gracefully and effortlessly through the water instead of splashing my way across the pool like some heifer. Right.

They may save me from myself and I might not make the lottery.
One can only hope.

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TATOR TOTS!!!

So. In the New Hampshire office, they do not have Tator Tots for breakfast. Nooooo. Instead, they have them for LUNCH! Along with their incredible Fries and Fabulous Rings!!!

ARG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Just when I thought I was safe!!!

I can't travel to the remote offices anymore.

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Chocolate Cake Wednesday in New Hampshire

I just checked the cafeteria. No chocolate cake except for the muted-color-dry-tasting sheet cake kind. Although it did look a bit more fudgey than normal. But... I was not tempted. What if the fudgey color is just a ruse...

So I had a breakfast sandwich instead.
Sigh...

I did run today. 30 minutes. My legs are only burning just a little. None of the can'twalkdownthestairsbecausemylegsmybreak feeling. Tomorrow I bike. Yahoo.

I wonder what the cafeteria will have for lunch...

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Tuesday, September 25, 2007

The death of me!!!

ARG!!!
The Smithfield office with be the DEATH OF ME!!! Tater Tots!!! Every single time I come here, I am drawn to the cafeteria like a moth to a death flame! And this is in a cafeteria where you could not PAY me to go and eat even if it were my last meal! Except for the Tater Tots!!! They even serve it at 10 AYY EMM! I might have to start coming into work at LUNCH - although they do have great onion rings and french fries!

And then there is the Merrimack office with its CHOCOLATE LAYER CAKE! I don't even like chocolate cake! Okay. Amend that to say that I don't even like CHOCOLATE in GENERAL! In fact, if I see it on a menu, do you think that I would even pause at it? NAY! I move ONWARD to the next, hopefully-non-chocolate item!!! But this is no ordinary chocolate cake!
Fudgy, ooey-gooey, dark, thick, melts-in-your-mouth, not ALL sugary, as most cakes are even if it is just on the other side of the getting-into-sugar-sweet-territory-line. The good news is that they are no longer serving this cake as a regular item; instead, it must be special ordered as a round layer cake. The other cake they sell instead - a sheet cake - is dry and sort of a muted color and not as wonderfully fall-into-it-backwards-and-bounce-kinda-moist and definitely not tempting. But every meeting I have, I order a chocolate layer cake.

I must stop having lunch meetings!

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Monday, September 24, 2007

I know what Recovery is

Well, now I know why they call it a recovery run. Because your legs hurt so bad that it's all you can do to move yourself forward in hopes of getting them recovered.

My legs feel like they have been beat with baseball bats.
I am feeling every mile of the long run yesterday. And I know why they called it "hardening" by running on pavement. Because it's HARD and the pavement is HARD and your legs are tight and HARD from muscles spasms. That's why. They left that last part out. Sheesh.

It's going to take a few weeks for this feeling to go away. Of course, it's not totally going to go away - after every new distance something will hurt. And it will be yet another opportunity for me to bitch and moan and whine! Yippee!!

Anyway, 20 minutes recovery running this morning.
Phew!

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Bug eyes

Why would you wear a pair of sunglasses where when you look at a picture of yourself 10 years from now, you think you look like a bug?

Today's fashion.

I just don't get it.

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Sunday, September 23, 2007

Was it good?

Yes it was!!!
Joseph had seconds - a BIG HEAPING HELPING.

I had a tiny second helping.
Too full from afternoon snack of wings, beer, chilli cheese fries and jalapeno poppers.

Egads!!!

I gotta stay away from block parties and street fairs.
Sigh...

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Parmesan, anyone?

Let me tell you. Anything that is softened up, put into a pan, topped off with a sauce and cheese and then baked in the over is good.

Tonight I made this eggplant and zuchini parm thing. Slice the eggplants and zuchini thin. Then you grill, sear, or broil it until it's kinds browned and soft. I used a pan, some olive oil and then lots of chicken broth to get the steam going and cut down on the oil absorption. Eggplant in particular is a sponge.

Then I made a sauce. We got out Boston Organics order on Thursday and it had a bag of crimini mushrooms and fresh tomatoes. So they all got sliced and chopped and put into a pot, add a little red wine, italian seasoning, sugar, salt, garlic, fresh cracked pepper, boil it up to make a nice sauce.

Then you grease the bottom of a pan - I used a metal 9x13 and used olive oil and used a paper towel to coat the pan. Then I layered the eggplant with the sauce, then zuchini, then lightly sprinkle with italian bread crumbs, then sprinkle shredded cheddar cheese. Repeat. Then add some mozzerella shredded cheese. Bake in a 350 degree oven. Take it out. Let it sit for about 10 minutes to set. Then eat.

I'll let you know how it is once we taste it. It's almost ready to be eaten. It smells great!!!

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Week 38 Training Recap

I mentioned my new workout schedule. And contrary to everyone continuing hint and insist that maybe one day, I will or might do a triathlon (which I won't because I do not like the feel of water on my person, which I keep mentioning to people but which is being selectively overlooked by thye most insistent of the lot... ahem...) I had nary a water workout in the bunch. So there.

This is the first week of the training schedule. 7 days of work outs. NO rest day. Yes. I am super human. Bionical. Ding Ding Ding... WRONG! I knew that the workout had this but it was all rather surreal - did not really register. But now I look back and yes, I worked out for 7 days. I check the schedule for next week and ... gasp! ... another 7 days!

And this is how I did last week:
Monday: Ran 2.63 miles.

Tuesday: Biked 5.2 miles.

Wednesday: Ran 2.73 miles.

Thursday: Biked 8.5 miles.

Friday: Ran 2.81 miles.

Saturday: Biked 15.3 miles

Sunday: 8.01 tough tough miles.

Total Biking Miles: 32
Total Running Miles: 16.18
Total Walking Miles: 0
Total Swimming Laps: 0
Total Stretching Days: 9 (both dynamic and static stretching)
Total Workout Hours: 5 hours and 8 minutes
Okay. SO that wasn't so bad. Next week is pretty much the same as last week.

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I know why I like cycling so much...

Because running is so. damn. hard. That's why.

This morning was long run day. It's the longest that I've run since oh.... hmmm.... May? Can't remember. All I know is that after the Vermont City DNF I decided to hang up my running shoes forever. I am lousy at running. Mentally, I am not there - total wimp-o. Everything hurts. I am always injured. The wind hates me. The hills hate me. The weather is never perfect. And shoes are expensive and never right!

Biking is better. It's easier. At least for me. Mentally I am much more aggressive on the bike. Any and all rides become races. The other day, someone asked me about a 2 day ride and they said something about how rides aren't races. I looked at them with this look and said, "What do you mean they're not races. Of course they're races. You have to be one of the top 5 women in!" And of course, they stared back at me - knew better than to object and that was the end of that conversation. Ahem. And even if everything hurts on the bike, it's never as painful as with running. Even road rash doesn't hurt as much as running. Hmmm... unless you slide across the pavement and the dermis has been scraped off. But think of the stories you could tell!!! And biking has better toys than running. A new bike beats a pair of running shoes any day.

But then, you never say never. Or forever, as this case may be. And now I am back. This was the first week back. Not too bad. Then this morning... long run day. 8 miles. EIGHT. Further than I've run in over 3 months. I took off and ran up Beacon Street. Headwind welcomed me back with open arms. The hills hugged me. And I kept running. I slowed down at 30 minutes, then at the next 30 minutes. Then it was much slower coming home. But I did it.

I wouldn't say it was PAINFUL, per se. It was just ... ACHY! Yes, my foot hurt from the strain. My hips were achy and tight. And my heart was beating way too fast. My lungs couldn't keep up with the legs, interestingly enough. But I know one day, the cardiovascular system will catch up and surpass my physical capabilities. This time, I want my body to keep up. All I have to do is close my eyes and pretend I'm riding.

On my way up Beacon Street, I saw a mini peleton turn onto Beacon off of Chestnut Hill around Boston College. They looked really good.

Anyway, I am back. Not roaring like a lion or anything, but I don't intend to go out quietly either. Besides, if I didn't do this, then I couldn't whine. And where would the fun be in that???

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Something Good

Yesterday, around 2:30 pm, I got hungry. So I went down to the kitchen and made myself a wonderful Korean dish called Kimchee Bokum Bap. It's basically day old rice that has been stir-fried with Kimchee. It is totally delicious. I put in some mixed vegetables, a little canola oil, 2 tablespoons of butter, day old white rice, day of brown-rice-and-white-rice-mix, chopped kimchee, 2 scrambled eggs, and stir fried the whole thing. I ended up with about 8 cups of rice!!!

And of course, this did not helped my hunger.

So, I put the rice away and had an apple instead.

And I was duly rewarded this morning with a dip in weight.
Happy happy!

I had the rice after my run this morning. Yummy!

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Saturday, September 22, 2007

We're up!!!

Okay. We are celebrities! Ahem. Kinda.

Go visit Paul's Hats. He writes about people who wear hats. Among other things. Always interesting, though.

Paul and I are friends. Very strange considering we have never met each other. Not so strange if you consider that most of my very bestest friends, I met that way - by not meeting each other - but through email. Unless you consider THAT to be strange. Ahem. And it's not a coinkydink that I made most of my friends AFTER the internet age started.

Anyhoo... we are up as the feature on this entry of Paul's Hat blog. Between us, Joseph and I have about ... oh.... I'd say around... uhhhh.... 100? ... 150? ... or so hats. Give or take. But we're not counting.

One day, Paul and I will meet. And we will continue to be fast friends. Paul and his First Wife, and me and my Hunny Bunny. What a group we will make! Happy happy happy!!

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St Joseph the Carpenter

So. The morning news had a piece on St. Joseph this morning. The Patron Saint of carpenters. And Joseph, my Hunny Bunny, is showing this saintly skills.

He's been downstairs in the basement banging away all morning.

Knowing him, he's probably building a house.

Oh and he'll have time to squeeze in a run later, too.

Welcome to my world...

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Friday, September 21, 2007

Drawer full of food...

...and what she doesn't know is that I have TWO drawers full of food!

HAH!

(Ugh. I should not have come into work today. I should have worked from home. I have don't nothing today that required by physical presence in the office. Dang.)

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Shrimp Crackers

I am addicted to Shrimp crackers!!! ARG!!!

I was talking to someone who works for me and she said to throw them out. Unfortunately, I can't. I just finished my last pack.

She said she can't buy them because she eats them all. They are very addictive.

No more shrimp crackers. I have to remember this when I make a trip to the Korean food store this weekend. She also thinks I should throw out my drawer full of food. GASP! What is she talking about?? There could be a famine. What if I can't get out of my office and I have no food and I am hungry??

Cannot. Imagine. Doing that.

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Thursday, September 20, 2007

Triathletes

Tonight, Joseph and I went to The Hill Tavern to meet up with a bunchathem. They were from Wheelworks Multisport club. Joseph will be joining them in January. You can only join Triathlon clubs in January. Something about insurance... Whatever.

Let me just say that the more I hang out with them, the more I think they are just plain nutz. Crazier than crazy.

And let me just add that no matter how much I hang out with them, I will never catch triathlonitis.

And that is that....

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Questions Questions Questions

I found this on Peachy Keen's blog. Another reader. Went to the profile. Found the blog. Liked it. Read it. Caught up to at least through August. Linked it. Anyway... need to give the proper attribution before I continue. Ahem.

This is going to be a nightmare for someone like me - one who doesn't like to share too much. Anyway. Here it goes.
  1. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE THING ABOUT YOURSELF? Uh oh. We're off to a bad start. I have no favorite thing about myself. Dang.

  2. WHAT IS YOUR LEAST FAVORITE THINGS ABOUT YOURSELF? Ugh. I am fat. Well. Not fat. I am not svelt. Like, hmmmm, Selma Hayek. Actually, she is short and curvy. I wouldn't mind that either.

  3. DO YOU LIKE YOUR HANDWRITING? No. I experiment all the time.

  4. IF YOU WERE ANOTHER PERSON WOULD YOU BE FRIENDS WITH YOU? Yes. Only if I let myself be friends with me. I have to be in myself's five friends list, though.

  5. DO YOU HAVE A JOURNAL? Yes. This is it.

  6. DO YOU USE SARCASM A LOT? Nope. I'm more caustic than sarcastic.

  7. WHEN DID YOU LAST CRY? I don't remember. I am sure it was some time last week.

  8. DO YOU STILL HAVE YOUR TONSILS? Yes.

  9. DO YOU STILL HAVE YOUR APPENDIX? Yes.

  10. WOULD YOU BUNGEE JUMP? Nope.

  11. DO YOU UNTIE YOUR SHOES WHEN YOU TAKE THEM OFF? Nope. Takes too long.

  12. DO YOU THINK YOU ARE STRONG? Yes.

  13. SHOE SIZE? 6 1/2 street shoe, 35 birkies, 7 or 7 1/2 in running shoes depending on the make, model, year

  14. WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW? The sounds coming from the TV which is playing The Limey movie on DVD - right now waves and surf and gunshots.

  15. IF YOU WERE A CRAYON, WHAT COLOR WOULD YOU BE? Orange

  16. WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST FEAR? Losing Joseph.

  17. WHERE DO YOU MOST WANT TO TRAVEL TO? Tibet.

  18. THE FURTHEST YOU BEEN FROM HOME? Korea.

  19. =THE FIRST THING YOU NOTICE ABOUT PEOPLE YOU ARE ATTRACTED TO? Their smile (Teeth included)

  20. EYE COLOR? brown black

  21. DO YOU WEAR GLASSES? sometimes

  22. DO YOU WEAR CONTACTS? Nope

  23. RIGHT OR LEFT HANDED? Right

  24. RED OR PINK? Red

  25. BLACK OR WHITE? Black

  26. SCARY MOVIES OR HAPPY ENDING? Happy Ending

  27. MCDONALDS OR BURGER KING? Are you kidding me??? Ugh. Depends. Burger King for the onion Rings and whopper junior meal, McDonalds for the fries. But really, for burgers, I like B.Good or Bukowski's.

  28. VANILLA OR CHOCOLATE? Banana

  29. COKE OR PEPSI? Coke

  30. SUMMER OR WINTER? Fall

  31. HUGS OR KISSES? Both but if I had to choose, HUGS!

  32. ROLLING STONES OR BEATLES? Stones

  33. FAVORITE SPORT? Hmmm... Cycling, track, hurling, curling, NCAA basketball (no pros, please), baseball.

  34. FAVORITE DRINK? Freshly brewed sweet ice tea like they have in the land of Dixie

  35. FAVORITE FOOD? Kimchee. Kimchee pa jun, kimchee bokum, kimchee chigae. And sushi.

  36. FAVORITE CEREAL? Ick. I do not like cereals in general. I don't "get" them.

  37. FAVORITE LUNCH MEAT? I don't eat lunch meat as in Deli meat but if I had to choose a sandwich, it would be a rare roast beef with horseradish sauce, whole grain mustard, carmelized onions, and you can also add a few slices of granny smith apples. Very good.

  38. FAVORITE PIZZA TOPPINGS? At the moment, I am into buffalo chicken pizza.

  39. FAVORITE DESSERT? I don't like sweets but I got for anything carmelized and with bananas in it.

  40. FAVORITE ICE CREAM? I don't really care for ice cream

  41. FAVORITE BOOK? The Joy Luck Club

  42. FAVORITE MOVIE? Stargate - I've watched it about 20 times. I can't think of anything else for now

  43. FAVORITE TELEVISION SHOW? Reality - The Biggest Loser, American Idol & Hell's Kitchen; Weekly - CSI (All of them), Law & Order (All of them)

  44. FAVORITE SINGER? I go for the song, not the singer but I do like Carrie Underwood and Chris Daughtry. I am waiting for something from Melinda Doolittle to come out. These are just top of mind.

  45. FAVORITE SOUNDS? Silence. Okay. If that doesn't count, water falling - waterfalls, rain, ocean waves - interesting considering I do not like water touching my person!

  46. FAVORITE SMELL? I can't really smell all that well. Hmmm... maybe the smell of cooking Korean food? Or Christmas scents?

  47. FAVORITE SEASON? Fall

  48. FAVORITE HOLIDAY? None. I don't "get" the hoopla over holidays in general.

  49. FAVORITE DAY OF THE WEEK? Friday

  50. FAVORITE COLOR? Orange
I am not going to tag anyone. I hate it when it happens to me.

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Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Deja Vu

OJ keeps coming back like a broken record.

Can we PLEASE not go there again???

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Van Morrison's Daughter

Ok.
I just sent his daughter an email.
Yes.
VAN MORRISON'S DAUGHTER!

She is a principle in a start up that does some sort of aptitude testing for technology people.
She is working with someone who knows someone I am working with.
And the person I am working with asked me if I and my rag tag band of DBA people would be interested in helping out.

Well.. I sort of sat on the email confirming things and he just came in to see if I remember.
Errr.... hmmm... email?... Uh.... OHHHH!!! Here it is... Lookie here!!!
And in searching for it, it was some daughter of a singer from the 60's and 70's... all I could think of was Karen Carpenter. Sheesh.

Anyway... I found the email, saw the last name, and neither of us could think of the first so...

I googled it.

Ahah!! VAN Morrison! WOWWWW!!! I'm gonna be working with his daughter! My people are going to be working with his daughter!!

Okay. Now I have to figure out who he is.

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Running across the USA

So. There is this guy in NH. Let's just call him Greg The Road Warrior just for grins. He just moved from PA. And is running across the USA. Virtually. He is mapping his runs in GMap.

Hmmm... I might have to do the same. I am thinking of running to various scenic interests - like the biggest ball of twine or the largest frying pan in the world.

I need a goal.
This could be it!

And it could be huge project with lots of planning even before I start running.
Think think think...

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How to register for Reach the Beach

So, for those who want to know how to get a team together to do Reach the Beach:

  1. Get 12 of your best running pals together and organize it. Don't forget to get 2 more people who do not wish to run who wish to drive. You don't need the 2 drivers since runners can take turns but sometimes having 1 driver will give all runners a break at some point.

  2. If you are truly adventurous and ambitious, cobble together less than 12 running pals and do it as an ultra.

  3. If you do not have 12 running pals or your running pals are fuddy duddy's and don't want to be adventurous, then go out to the forums next season. There are always teams who need to have people fill in because:

A) their friends are also fuddy duddy's and they do not have the full complement of team members

B) their friends are not fuddy duddy's but one or two of them have had to drop out because of injuries and other life changing events

There are a lot of logistics involved.

  1. You have to reserve the two vans a few months in advance. You can do it in an SUV or a minivan but it's not comfortable. Not to mention, where will you sleep? And what if it's raining outside?? The smaller the space, the worse it is. Make sure the vans are 15-person vans. Anything smaller means that you are sitting on top of each other and everyone's gear.

  2. Bring things to sleep on that do not take up too much room.

  3. Bring water, gatorade, etc., and some general goomies for after runs - twizzlers, gummy's, chips of all kinds, etc., are popular - but not too much. Most people will bring their own nutritional supplements.

  4. Be sure to bring trashbags and papertowels - in case portalets run out of TP and also to wipe down after a run

  5. Bring money - small bills - for the rest stops to donate to those who are out there with food to support us

  6. Bring changes of clothes - 3 sets of running gear, including an extra set of shoes. If it is raining - and it rains very single year - you will be glad you have it. If you are an anaerobic running (meaning really fast), then you will smell like ammonia and your van mates will not appreciate you drying your clothes on the vents at the front of the van because it causes a great stink to occur that pervades the van for the entire weekend. Especially if it is pouring out and you can't open the windows lest everything in the van gets wet. NOT that we have ever experienced this ourselves. Ahem.

  7. And for goodness sake... bring a towel. Not a bath sheet or a beach towel. They will take up too much room unless you plan on using it as a blanket, too. A decent sized bath towel or a larger than average hand towel. This is to wipe off the sweat after your run, and to sit on while you and your van are careening to the next stop because the person you handed off to is a speed demon and, no, you did not have any time to stop, rest, walk around, have a drink, rest, cool down, and generally stop sweating. You will continue to sweat for at least 15-20 minutes and your drippiness and puddles will not be appreciated by anyone who will be sitting in your seat for the next relay leg. NOT that I haven't witnessed this myself! Ahem. (This is one of the advantages of being the driver. You get your personal space and everyone knows not to invade it lest they get their head chewed off. Ahem.)
In terms of training, run hills. Hills Hills Hills. And more Hills. Uphills and downhills. New Hamphire is full of HILLS!

I guess that's about it.
Other than that...it's a piece o' cake.
Ahem.

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Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Tis the season...

...for renewed interest in training.

As I mentioned earlier, it always starts at Reach the Beach. And this year is no different. Not that running up and down bacon strips and asphalt dunes look that appealing but for some reason, I got caught up in the RHYTHM of it all. Strange
isn't it? It was the back and forth motion of the legs and arms that made me wish I was out there running. Very odd.

So, I mentioned it to Joseph. And while I was doing up a mock schedule yesterday, Joseph emailed me a real one.

Oh! How wonderfully serendipitous. Ahem.

So...suffice it to say that I am back into training mode. I need a goal but the only goal I have right now is...
  1. Run Reach the Beach 2008 and do it better than ever before.

  2. Get to 100 miles of biking and 50 miles of running every week, which was then later modified by The Coach to 50 miles of biking and 30 miles of running.
Hmmm... dang. I really wanted to hit 50 mile weeks for running. Dang. I guess I can live with the 30/50 plan.

It training plan basically has me running or biking every single day. Except on every 5th week when I have one day off. ONE DAY. How generous. I am sure I won't die in the process of getting to recovery week. AHEM AHEM AHEM.

But, I am not daunted and for a change, I think I can actually run or bike every single day. Why not? It's all about commitment and consistency. Right???

At some point, we will switch out one of the biking days for another day of running. Or I can add another day of running and move that day's biking to the evening so that I can experience double workouts and see if it's something I am interested in doing. Which is what would be required if I were to want to sign up for anything other than a single event up to the marathon or century distances...

NOT that I am THINKING about doing anything CRAZY, mind you. Hffff!
I am two days in, and I am 2 for 2. 100%.

Ask me in a week how it's going.
If I don't bite your head off, I might just give you a coherent answer.

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Swim Program

Okay. Wonders will never cease.

This past Sunday we went to a block party around the block from us.
Everyone was there.
And we met someone who is a student at BU and she said that if you sign up for the Masters Swim Program, you can get the ID, never attend another class but have access to the SBB&NBP(Stupendously Beautiful Big and New BU Pool)!

And so, I went out there on the website and sure enough, there is a masters swim program. Of course, I am unqualified so on a lark I search around for something that would allow me to improve technique, start swimming, learn and practice to swim continuously, and eventually join the masters swim program. I even saw a beginning women's only swim class on Sundays but I know how to swim. I am not bad at it. I just want to get stronger, practice what I know, but join a program so that I can get some coaching on technique so that I don't develop bad habits.

And after searching around, guess what I found?

Nothing.
The big fat goose egg.

I think it's time to call them and talk to a human.
My least favorite thing to do.
Sigh...

NOT that I am going to go through with it, mind you.
I am just THINKING about it.
Sheesh.

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Am I caught up??

OMG. I think I am!
I AM caught up!!!

Will wonders ever cease?

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Monday, September 17, 2007

Week 37 Training Recap

So, last week was better than two weeks ago. But not by much.
Monday: Nothing.

Tuesday: Biked 5.2 miles.

Wednesday: Nothing. One can't get too ambitious now.

Thursday: Run 2.55. Not sure why. I just sort of felt like it. Amazing.

Friday: RTB Friday.

Saturday: RTB Saturday!

Sunday: Zero. Too daggum tired!!!

Total Biking Miles: 5.2
Total Running Miles: 2.55
Total Walking Miles: 0
Total Swimming Laps: 0
Total Stretching Days: 0
You can't look at it as being pathetic. One must be optimistic. This is a start. Small but still tiny movement forward.

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Reach the Beach 2007

This is our 6th year. A lot of of us have participated in all six, as runner or as driver. Many people have done this multiple times and we have one new person this year - Bill, another Dead Runner. I was so busy this year that I wasn't able to put together any hats or shirts or any trinkets for the team! I will have to make up next year instead!

Thursday night, we had our pre-race meal at Soul Fire. We always have BBQ. Why try something new and ruin a good thing? We usually go to Red Bones in Davis Square but everyone thought that trying this place would be good. It's not a sit down, waitress service place, really. They take your order but you go up and get your own place when they call your number. We didn't realize that until the food started coming up. Even then, I do not think that everyone made that connection.

Soul Fire doesn't have any many sides or the 1000 beers on the wall. But the food was very good IMO. And it was quieter and they do not kick you out of the place right after you set your fork down because there is a waiting line a mile long. Not sure if we will stick with Redbones for next year but either way doesn't bother me.

This year, we had 3 people staying with us. And we had lots of room. And off street parking. Some of the advantages of not living in the South End of Boston are obvious!

We got up Friday and since we had a late start time (1:30pm), we could leave later. So we had time for bacon, eggs, pancakes. Yum!

We met up at Anderson RTC to move things into vans, move people into vans, and get situated. We drove up to a commuter parking area in NH to pick up Joan and Tim and then we were off.

This year, the race started at Cannon Mountain as opposed to Bretton Woods which meant a course change taking us down the Kangamangas Highway. I have never been down the Kangamangas but I won't forget it after this weekend. Asphalt dunes. Bacon Strips. Anything but pancakes. Unreal! The first three legs were the toughest so the first van, the one I was driving, was totally stacked. We had a 5:45-6:00 miler, followed by a 6:30 miler; followed by a 5:30 miler, followed by a slower, but still fast, 7:30 miler. The second leg was pretty much 1500 feet of climbing over 8-9 miles without a single downhill or flat relief. All I have to say is, THANK GOD FOR GEOF!!! And of course, thank God for Joseph and Parker Parker!!! And thank goodness that Parker is back from his injuries in full form!! YAHOO!!!


The last and third rotation for our van (there are 3 rotations per van with 6 people in each van), the first four people passed 88 teams altogether. Yeah. That's how fast these people are. But also, we had caught up with the slower teams that had started at 7:30 on Friday morning.

The race went without mishap except for Joseph stepping into what might have been a pothole and doing the fall-and-roll, twisting his ankle and getting cut up in the process. Our second rotation was wet. In fact, we had to run in a deluge. And that means that as we passed Joan, it looked like she was running through a sheet of water! And as driver, I didn't drive us off the road. Even with my poor night vision which is always worse in wet whether and even when I was trying to keep my eyes open with toothpicks. Joseph looked at me around 1PM and said, "you're done." I moved over to the passenger seat and that was the last thing I remembered until he woke me at 5am or thereabouts.

Our team came in 41st overall, with the second fastest time in the 6 years we've done the race.

Afterwards, we did our requisite Browns trip for Lobster.

I will say that it's about this time of the year when my training program starts anew. And this year is no exception. I am now officially in training for Reach the Beach 2008. Next year, I am running. I might be driving, too, but I am definitely running. I need to work all year to get into decent shape and to get my pace to a point where I don't slow the team down too excessively. No one cares how fast people run - the team is never about that - but after 26 hours on the road, an hour more does in fact make a difference!

Now I can take the week to recover!
And next weekend? I have NOTHING! I cannot tell you how happy I am about that!

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Thursday, September 13, 2007

Ireland Pictures...

... can be found here...

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Swimming

I am thinking of taking a class.
Or two.
Maybe a series.
Yes.
In swimming.

Will wonders ever cease...

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Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Ice cream

There is a JP Licks less than a half mile from the house.
I walk past it going to work.
I walk past it coming home from work.


I have never been tempted.

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100 Favorite Things #8: Hot Sauce

It's perfect for everything.
I take it with me when I travel.
Everything tastes good with hot sauce.
And it can't be tabasco or anything heavily vinegar based.
I want the taste of full bodied pepper sauce that coats the inside of my mouth. Something I can sink my teeth into!


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Temptations

You know you are screwed when all you can think about is the lunch that is sitting on your desk.

And it's only 9:30 AM.


And at 9:40 AM, y0u eat it.

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Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Random Thought: Country Ham

It smells.
I hadn't thought about that.

Amazing how you forget things like this.

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Sunday, September 09, 2007

Week 36 Training Recap

Ok. Don't laugh.
Monday: Nothing. I was traveling.

Tuesday: Nothing Travel day. Tomorrow I will try to do something.

Wednesday: Biked 8.5 miles.

Thursday: Nothing. Budget stuff at work is killing me.

Friday: Nothing. Too busy.

Saturday: NOTHING!

Sunday: Zero

Total Biking Miles: 8.5
Total Running Miles: 0
Total Walking Miles: 0
Total Swimming Laps: 0
Total Stretching Days: 0
I think that just says it all.

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Weekend with Bernie...

...and Irene...

In-laws came.
In-laws left.
A few hours to myself.
Ahhhhh....

Friday night, I had a hair appointment. B&I had arrived but I couldn't cancel the appointment and rescheduling would mean another 4 week wait, and I had already rescheduled it and it was already going on 10 weeks since my last hair cut - blah blah blah... so I kept it. Got home to a crowd (Joseph, B, & I). We went to dinner, which was very nice - the local Thai place.

Saturday morning, I had a 2 hour massage appointment, which I also kept.

In the afternoon, Joseph and B put the front porch back together - the morter had come undone and chunks of brick were loose - very hazardous. We went to Home Depot, got some quick cement and they put the whole thing together. My m-i-l helped but it seemed that the job had one to many people. Ahem. Anyhoo...

They left this morning. I cooked a nice big breakfast and they left shortly thereafter. All in all, it was a very nice weekend.

One good note is that I did have a chance to explain to my m-i-l that I had no relationship with my mother and so it is hard for me to have relationships with mothers in general. It's not anything personal but it comes from year and years of conditioning and bracing myself for the onslaught of nagging and yelling and general disagreement and disappointment with anything that I do or have done or could be doing and my general existence in the world. So anytime I have a relationship with a mother in a mother-type capacity, I have a difficult time not getting defensive or looking at it as an arduous chore. She was very understanding. But I am not sure how she feels about all this. Hopefully, I do not become a "psychology" project. The good news is that I think I am no longer a "relationship project". It never got off the ground but the idea that I am any type of "relationship project" made my hair stand on end.

So there you have it.
I try to be good but I am highly fallible and extremely flawed.

Oh, and exercise? EXERCISE, did you say???

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!


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Thursday, September 06, 2007

Stress

The In-laws are coming for the weekend.
I am back from 3 weeks away and now I have visitors.
I feel the stress coming on.

It never ends...

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I am a Centaur






You Are a Centaur


In general, you are a very cautious and reserved person.
However, you are also warm hearted, and you enjoy helping others in practical ways.
You are a great teacher, and you are really good at helping people get their lives in order.
You are very intuitive, and you go with your gut. You make good decisions easily.

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Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Week 35 Training Recap

Well... this report is easy. Last week was another travel week - one day home and back to Ireland. So, without much more to say, the week was pretty lame.
Monday: Nothing. I was traveling.

Tuesday: Nothing Travel day.

Wednesday: Ditto.

Thursday: Ho hum... same ole same ole...

Friday: Travel day. Too busy.

Saturday: In Ireland...!!!

Sunday: Toured the country... did some walking. Does that count??

Total Biking Miles: 0
Total Running Miles: 0
Total Walking Miles: 0
Total Swimming Laps: 0
Total Stretching Days: 0
Well, that was pretty pathetic. I can feel Inertia starting to set in.



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Penthouse view?

Last night, we helped Elizabeth move into her new apartment. It's her first apartment. She has lived all her life at school in dorms, in friends' homes during holidays, and now in our home. This is the first time she has a place she can call her own. She has a roommate named Laura. Nice girl.

There is no parking so we parked up on a curb with flashers on.

We saw other students moving in and it took me back to the days of college. And I was soooo glad that I was done with all that.

New place is on the 5th floor.
The top floor.
The penthouse - if you stretch it.

And no elevator.
Sigh...

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Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Home Sweet Home

There is nothing like home. Nothing.

This morning, we stopped by the Trinity College before heading out. Being a huge religion study person, it was really important for me to get to see the Book of Kells.

Trinity College is a working college and very very old. There were a lot of tour groups and lots of students (they looked like students) walking around. We made our way through the cobblestone court, around a corner and a stone building, over the left and to the entrance of the library, which was ... closed. Sigh... We had to wait 15 minuts or so. There was a line toward the opening time so we were glad we got there early!

The Book of Kells. Holds the four gospels from olden times. Way before King James even thought about rewriting the Bible. Ahem. Do not even go there... Anyway... It's ancient. The craftsmanship is amazing. The work it took to publish or create this book is unthinkable today, which is a shame - we pump out books like they are any ole things. The greatness of thought does not reflected in the effort it takes to produce a work of art or a work of words that is laid down for what could be all time. It's so ironic - the most important things today are sometimes the easiest and most mass produced. Not like the Book of Kells - and all manuscripts during ancient times.

Anyway, I ended up getting a small book that highlights the workmanship and history of the Book of Kells. I'll ready it thoroughly when I get a chance.

The flight home was uneventful. Thank goodness. Being uneventful is the best thing that could happen if you happen to be flying through the air at 35,000 feet. Ahem.

Monday, September 03, 2007

There's nothing like working on Labor Day!

Ireland doesn't have a Labor Day so they do not celebrate it. That is the primary reason we picked Labor Day to come to Ireland to work.

First of all, the spouses could take the day off and tour another country.
Since the USA wasnt working, there would be less requiring our attention.
And that applied to the Ireland staff - no staff to hurry and synch up with toward the end of the Irish work day and the beginning of the USA work day.

Of course my Boss wondered why in the world I took this trio so shortly after vacation and in the middle of the budget cycle. Uh... read the above paragraph. And did you leave EARLY on Thursday in the middle of the budget cycle to go watch the Patriots game at Gillette Stadium? Yah.

Anyway...

We worked while our spouses played. They went on another few tours and Joseph took some pictures of the day he spent with Rachel and Andrea.

We als had a work dinner so our spouses did their own thing for dinner, too. Work dinner started out a little awkward. We all know that the only reason the dinner happened at all is because, well... I'm a VP. I didn't think about this until my two managers, one of whom visited before in the year and no senior manager offered to take him to dinner, pointed out that if I weren't a VP, we'd have all this time at night to join up with the families. Ugh. Well, if I am stuck, then you are too! So there!!

We ended up going to Coopers. It's right Irish Pub with traditional Irish fare. And it was surprisingly good!

It was a late night and now we are back at the hotel. We met up after in the lobby lounge and had drinks and more desserts. Expense reporting is going to be very very interesting when we get back. Sigh...

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Sunday, September 02, 2007

Out for the day...

...in the Irish Country side.

Okay. I never realized it but Ireland is pretty big.
It hit me when I was looking at a map that had pictures of their tours and the route they would be taking. We chose the full-day Wicklow Valleys, Mountains, and Lakes Tour. We basically drove out to Avoca by way of the Wicklow Gap where we stopped at the pass for a photo op, and then stopped at one of the hotels for a short walk to a monestary and a small lake.

At Avoca, we saw a demo of how things are made by hand and some very old looms that are hundreds of years old. They are still in operation along with very shiny looms in a separate room to fill mass orders of their woven products.

And of course, there was shopping and eating. I ended up getting two sweaters that were on sale. The food wasn't great at the Avoca mill so we walked a mile down to the village where there was a kitchen style restaurant and an Irish Pub. We were told to skip the pub because service was slow. I really see the difference between the restaurant and the pub since the restaraunt was really slow in serving my stew.

Turns out that sandwiches take a while. Why did this surprise me?? Anyway, the irish stew was excellent and was probably worth the wait.

We got back to the mill - we hoofed it, in fact, because we were short on time - only to find out that the bus's battery was dead. Hmmm... okay. How long do we think this will take? Oh.... an hour and a half or so? Oh.... hmm... well, there's a pub we can go do... oh... and it's like, uh, 3pm? Oh.... well, we could go down to the pub and watch the hurling championship... isn't it too bad that the bus broke down????

And it turned out that is just what we did. We ended up experiencing the national sporting event's championship game in a right Irish pub in the middle of the Irish countryside. Could not get better than that. Of course, service was really slow. But the timing was good because the bus pulled up outside of the pb to pick us up after the game ended. The most interesting thing was that the 3 hour bus ride out took only an hour to get us back home.

And the whole way, there were two American girls who wanted a refund. They sat in the back and if they weren't dozing, they were bitchin' about a refund and how they had places to go and people to see. Uh... ok. Let me just set the record straight. You really don't have anything to do - you're in a FOREIGN COUNTRY and THINGS HAPPEN! And second, your whining isn't going to help the situation. And third, you got what you paid for - a tour of the gap, the lake, and Avoca. You just got some extra stuff on top - forced down time, so just take a damn number and chill out! Sheesh.

Dinner tonight was at Il Posto - an Italian place down the street from the hotel. More slow service but it was very good. Next time I am in Dublin, I will be going here for dinner again!

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Saturday, September 01, 2007

Things to do in Ireland

I have no idea. None. It's a city. Sort of like London, only smaller.

We don't have a long time here so it's not like we can travel through the countryside at our leisure. We are kindastuck in the Dublin area.

This afternoon, Joseph and I got up from a light slumber and ended up walking to find some kinda brunch or lunch or breakfast. We took a right out of the hotel, walked down a few blocks, took a right and ended up at a cafe around the corner. Not a lot to look at and the decor wasn't anything to scream about but they had a decent looking menu so we stopped. Actually, it was the coffee that was advertised that attracted us. Lilly and her family met us shortly after we ordered.

The first observation is that service is really slow. Hear of island time? Well, there is also suchathing as Ireland Time. Yup.

The second thing is that their bacon is very different. It's more like ham - along the lines of canadian bacon except it's not neat and round.. it's more jagged and sort of ripped off the ham leg or wherever this stuff comes from.

Third, the orange juice tastes different - much like the rest of the Non-USA. I prefer it to our brand of sugarfied, pasteurfied, all sorts of additivefied juice we get in the states.

After breakfast/brunch/Lunch, we walked up and down the shopping district - very busy, very crowded, very bustling... it was fun while it lasted. Everything is in Euro so with the exchange, there were not real bargains to be had so it was easy to refrain from wild shopping sprees.

We decided ended up going on a tour of the city - The City Tour bus. And we found that there were actually some exhibits and things to do around the City that I was interested in. Unfortunately, we didn't have a lot of time and I didn't want to spend it all inside of the city. So tomorrow, we will be taking one of the day tours out to the country. Anyway... we ended up at the Guinness Storehouse. We weren't so much interested in the tour as we were the beer. We ended up at the Galaxy Bar on the 7th floor of the Storehouse and got free beer. Yes. FREE. And they know how to pour a full pint, that's for sure. Guinness tastes a bit different in Ireland than in the states. It's raw - like nothing is being hidden - the flavour is out there for you to see and taste, baring it's all. It's a bit tamer in the states.

I think I prefer the Irish brew.
It's like walking on the wild side...

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Another road trip

This time... to Ireland.

I've never been to Ireland. We have a big office there. Lots of people from work go there. I've been to Scotland and Iceland, which is near there. And people at work have told me I should go there. And strangely enough, I've never had the desire or the remotest idea that I should go. Until now. For work.

I am going with two other people from work - we will call them Lilly and Wayne, just for grins. Anyway, Wayne decided it would be a good idea to take out spouses and Lilly decided to bring her 7-year-old daughter in addition to her husband.

We will spend the weekend touring and while Wayne, Lilly and I are working on Monday, our families can do more touring.

And so this afternoon, we flew out of Logan and landed in Dublin. We were picked up by 3 separate executive limos, courtesy of work, and deposited at the Shelbourne right across from St. Stephen's Green. So far, I do not know what to think other than:

  1. Ireland looks sorta like England. Kinda.
  2. The hotel is small - typical European Style boutique hotel. Small.

We did end up getting a pretty good introduction by our driver as he took us through the streets. Turns out that our hotel was where the original Irish Constitution was signed. And we drove by Trinity College where the Book of Kells is on display (and which I must, of course, see at cost), and the spire, which was the site of a blow up of something else (can't remember) by the IRA back in 1993 or something.

Anyway... we landed on what should be the same night but since since Ireland is 5 hours ahead, we landed at 5:30am on Saturday morning.

I am tired.
I must sleep.
We are meeting at noon to find food.

Sleep sleep sleep...

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