Monday, February 23, 2009

8 Weeks til Boston

Well, I've been a bit busy. I was trying to figure out which week of training it was but that was too hard for me so I decided to count backwards from Marathon Day.

My life is crazy.
Last week's training plan and accomplishments:

MON - rest in the morning, Scary Trainer (LIFT) in the evening - killer workout session with Scary Trainer. Start of a new phase where I am going 3 times a week now for 40minutes each (instead of 2 sessions of an hour). He had me doing 6 exercises in pairs, back and forth in groupings of a set number of reps, like 4 or 5 or 6, for 10 minutes. I was covered in sweat. Blech. Even my head got hot and I hate it when that happens! GAH! The next two are more of the same I think but with different exercises. This session was mostly legs and core.

TUE - run 3-4 in the morning, Scary Trainer in the evening - ran a recovery run which means I have to keep my heart rate pretty low. This translated to a very slow 11:50 pace. I managed to eek out 2.5 miles in 30 minutes in 22* weather. Sigh. I can't wait for spring.


WED - run 3-4 in the morning - I am driving to the NH office in the morning. Hate it. - ran 4 miles in the morning. The weather wasn't so bad considering it was around 22 degrees. My face is chapped and peeling. I hate winter. Ok. Just to clarify, I don't hate winter. I hate that it gets so cold!

THU - run 3-4 in the morning, Scary Trainer in the evening - nothing in the morning. So daggum tired! Had a good Scary Trainer session. We did cobra squats with these one-armed rows with 12 lb dumbbells in the full push up position. Then we did triceps and barbell biceps. I altered between the exercises in pairs for 15minutes total for each pair of exercise. Killer arms and core work.

FRI - run 3 in the morning, rest in the evening - stupid kitten! GAH! Did not sleep well. Could barely make it out of bed without falling down. And it was icy from overnight rain and snow. Of course this meant that I would kill myself if I went outside so Joseph told me to run on the treadmill. I walked instead. Still streaking. 54 days straight of excercising.

SAT - run 18-19 in the morning, rest in the evening - BIG DINNER at Grill 23 with cousins! I ran the 18 in the morning. There was a tremendous headwind on the way out. I did an out-and-back run, which means I was running into about a 30mph wind for the first 9 miles. I suppose it wasn't so bad except I couldn't take advantage of the downhills through Newton. On the way back, I was so tired from fighting the wind that I couldn't take advantage of the tailwind. All I could
think about was how my legs were going to fall off. Oh, and an Anna's burrito for lunch. Legs... Anna's... Legs... Anna's... That is about how it went.

We went to dinner and I managed to do pretty well with food. Oysters for appetizers, steak and asparagus for dinner. No dessert. Sigh...

SUN - run 7-8 in the morning, rest in the evening - Joseph thought that 6 was better than 7 or 8, which was okay with me. I would have run 8 miles until he mentioned it. It was very tiring. More headwind but this time it was on the way back. You can't get away from it. I hate wind.

Total for the week: 31.6 miles

Next week's it's more of the same:

Monday - Rest in the morning, Scary Trainer in the evening - heavy leg
workout
Tuesday - Run 2-3 in the morning, recovery run, massage in the evening.
Wednesday - Run 3-4 in the morning, Scary Trainer in the morning -
medium legs, heavy core
Thursday - Run 3-4 in the morning, Scary Trainer in the evening - light
legs, heavy upper body
Friday - Run 4-5 in the morning, Big Event to attend in the evening
Saturday - 18 - 19 miles (again, it's vuja de all over again...)
Sunday - 6 miles

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Saturday, February 21, 2009

Scary Trainer Website

So, if anyone is interested, this is my Scary Trainer's new website. I haven't looked at it yet. But if you want training, and you are in Boston, Brookline, Newton, Watertown, wherever... give him a shout. He is THE BEST. And believe me. I know what the hell I am talking about. Seriously.


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!

I am not sure what happened today but Joseph decided to run 17 on the treadmill and I thought he was nuts. There was a time when you could have reversed that and think nothing of it.

I headed out and the first thing I noticed? HEADWIND! GAH!!!!
Headwind the entire 9 miles out. The ENTIRE WAY! All the way to mile 15.5 on the marathon course. It was blowing so hard, I couldn't even run fast down the hills in Newton! Now, that was just maddening.

I turned around and my legs were so tired, I couldn't even take advantage of the tailwind. In fact, I kept thinking that my legs were going to just fall off. Of course, my arms from Scary Trainer session on Friday were killing me. And then my core. The core training is working, because they were engaged the entire run. And that means they HURT the entire run, too! It was reflex. They were so tight that I couldn't relax my ab muscles to save my life. But other than leg-exhaustion, I guess it worked because nothing really hurts from the run - it all just hurts from Scary Trainer! GAH!

So, 18 miles are on the books.
Tomorrow, I have 8 miles.
EIGHT MILES!

I am going to poke my eyes out.

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Friday, February 20, 2009

Totally wrung out

I am going home early.

I spent 6 hours interviewing college students for acceptance into our entry level training program. Who knew that 6 interviews could be so draining?

I am like a dish towel that has been soaking in Chlorox for the day.
Totally. Wrung. Out.

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Thursday, February 19, 2009

Random Thoughts: Leadership is overrated

"Leader", "Leaders", and "Leadership" have got to be the most overused word in the English language these days.

So let me state the facts.
Not everyone is a leader.
And not everyone has the ability to be a "leader."
If you could be a leader, why would there be any followers?
Everyone as Chief? Wrong. This is not how the world is set up.
Most of us are lemmings.

And leaders in management? Yah. Right.
Trust me when I say that not everyone in management is leader!
In fact, I would say that Leadership in Management is a minority.

Oh. And another thing.
People are not assets or resources.
People are Humans.

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A different winter

For some strange reason I am okay with winter this year.

I think it's a combination of the snow blower and going away to Palm Springs to get a break from the cold that makes the difference.

When it snows, I think gleefully about how Joseph gets to use the Snow Blower I got him for Christmas. And how I love watching him out the window. Of course, I am inside while he is outside. Ahem.

And then I remember Palm Springs and the Oranges and Grapefruit and Giant Lemons growing on the trees right outside our hotel room. And I get this all over "glowy" feeling. Ok. Whatever.

And yes I know. I have to post pictures.

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Tuesday, February 17, 2009

2 a days

So last night marked the beginning of a new phase of weight training with Scary Trainer. I am now going 3 times a week instead of 2. There was a heavy leg and core emphasis to the first session. There were 6 exercises and we worked them in pairs. I went back and forth for a set number of reps without a break for 10 minutes. Then there would be a 1 to 2 minute rest. Then onto the next pair. At the end of the session, I was bathed in sweat! EGADS!

So, this morning I went out for a recovery run of 30 minutes to "shake my legs out." Thus marks the start of my 2-a-day workouts for at least the next four weeks. I have no choice if I want to get more than a few runs in during the week, especially since running 15 miles after a week's total of 6 miles just won't cut it; I'll either get injured or I won't be able to complete my weekly long runs.

The run this morning wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. I kept a close eye on my heart rate so that I wouldn't run too "hard" since I have another workout tonight. I torqued my back on Sunday doing nothing and it's still bothering me today.

I am feeling less confused and more in control of my food and workouts. I have a feeling I'm going to either hit my target or get really close this year.

Tonight, Scary Trainer session #2. I am told it's mostly upper body. This is good because it means I can go out for a longer easy run tomorrow morning.

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Monday, February 16, 2009

Nutrition and Workout Update

It's been a killer since we got back from vacation. It's not the cold so much as work. Work work work! GAH!!! Takes over my life and pervades practically everything!

Last week was a total wash. Had to walk on the treadmill for 30 minutes twice because of some meeting that started at 7:30 AYY EMM! Who the hell schedules meetings two days in a row at 7:30 IN THE MORNING???

But the good news is that I've been getting out there every day for something and I am very proud to say that I have worked out every single day in Decvember 29th. I have never done anything like this. Ever.

I am going to credit it to my weight lifting training that started in January 2008. I know that my core is much stronger and when I get tired I just tighten my core and my legs feel like they are running easier. I have had no side-lining injury (knock on wood). This is because all of the muscles that are supposed to be engaged and working, are actually engaged and working instead of other muscles compensating for weaker muscles and becoming overworked, which leads to injury. For anyone out there who is listening, I don't care if you hate weight lifting... Just do it. Quit your bitching, moaning and excuse making and just do it (my apologies to Nike).

I was informed by Scary Trainer yesterday that he will be training me 3/week instead of the 2/week that we have been doing. Instead of an hour, we will have three 40-minute sessions. He says that this will keep my metabolism up a lot more. He is into fat burning. I have not lost any of the 8 pounds that I gained over the holidays but he is bound and determined that we not only lose that, but reach my ultimate goal this year. This is good because I am too!

Nutrition is being shaken up a bit too. We have eliminated all visible wheat from my diet. I cannot believe how pervasive wheat is. I don't mean gluten. I mean WHEAT! And it's not just in breads. It's in the hash browns I wanted to eat. WHO THE HELL PUTS WHEAT INTO HASH BROWNED POTATOES??? Ok. So if I want hash browns, I have to make them myself. Pffft!

The other thing is I have to stick to 120g of protein a day. 11 out of 22 days, I was compliant. Uhhhh... not good. Scary Trainer was busy doing diet analysis today. Hffff! Anyway, total calories have been pretty good.

Also, I can only eat fruits and veggies for carbs. At least I get fruit! The night before a long run, I can have rice or potatoes (white carbs). And the morning of a hard run or a long run, I can have a white carb. That's it. The total caloric intake has to be under 1700 calories. (Last week marked week four of 1800 calories so this week I drop down to 1700 for the next four weeks.) Except for my long run days. I stick to 1700, but I can have whatever GU's or carb drinks I want DURING my run and I can count that on top of the 1700.

This is new to Scary Trainer. He said that most of his clients, if not all, are couch potatoes. They are either head cases who eat only 600 calories a day or sit at home all day on Saturday observing the Sabbath and and downing food like there's not tomorrow. And they are all without exception couch potatoes and do nothing outside of training with him! I cannot imagine! Anyway, so he said dealing with an overachieving marathoner who wants to lost body fat, get cut, and build muscle to get strong, is really new and he is learning too. Hmmm. At least he admits it.

So, tonight marks the first night of the new phase.
I torque my lower right back yesterday afternoon and it's hard for me to bed.
We'll see what he has to say about that.
I am sure he will be just thrilled.


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Thursday, February 12, 2009

A wasted morning

A very rare 50* morning and I can't run because I have an early morning meeting in the office.
AGAIN!

PISS!

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Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Keeping the streak alive

Ok.
All day meeting starting at 8am.
I had to get into the office by 7:30.

Then a "gathering" at the Elephant and Castle.
Ugh.
We always go there.

So, how the hell am I going to get in my exercise?
I was going to come home and run until I found out about the "gathering."

Now I'll just have to walk for 30 minutes.
What a waste of a great day!

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Monday, February 09, 2009

What a wonderful mistake!

We are so glad we came to Dallas.
OMG.
We are at the Hyatt Regency at Terminal C.

From the moment we alighted from the hotel shuttle, service was excellent. Franke, the registration guy, was cheerful, friendly, and made sure we were in a non-smoking room on a non-smoking floor. He also told us about the restaurants in the hotel. Turns out there are 3 and one is Mr. G's.

Our room was very nice. A terrific business traveler hotel. Nice desk, comfy bed. Wonderful. They didn't have lotion which was the only drawback.

We went to dinner at Mr. G's. First, the service. Unsurpassed. We were served by the Master Sommelier. Yah. Not many of those around. He has visited every vineyard on the wine list. And he has picked out each wine personally. It's not a huge list and mainly small producers, but OMG how special it is! We ended up with the Rocket Science By Caldwell. The Sommelier knows the owner personally and if they don't ship to Massachusetts we should let them know we know the Sommelier. The wine was a full bodied blend, a Meritage, very subtle and soft but very big.

The restaurant was empty. They had a huge party that took over that ended early and we were one of the first (one only) customers. How wonderful.

The bread was a toasted cheese with slivered almonds. Delicious. And not gucky like my good friend Cher thinks a toasted cheese bread might be.

The scotch list was small so I went with a Macallan 18 and Joseph has an Oban. Normal solid standbys.

For appetizer, I went with the lobster bisque. Ok. I have a tendency to order the same thing over and over at different restaurants. I always order the lobster bisque. Turns out that this bisque has been written up in Food and Wine and has won many awards. In fact, at one competition, they have been requested to NOT enter the bisque because they won so often the others thought it was unfair! Well, no wonder. They take 8 gallons of cream and boil it down to 2. Yah. Heart attack waiting to happen. Thank goodness I take Lipitor!

For dinner I had their petite filet (8 oz - how's that for "petitie", yah) with morel mushroom cabernet reduction, fois gras, and sauteed baby veggies. We also got a side of sauteed spinach. Fabulous. And I had the dauphanoise potatoes (like gratine but it is bound with some egg - a bit of trivia for those who are allegic to egg - but unnoticeable.

I don't like liver. Of any kind. Except for Goose Liver. Fois gras. At first I thought I would be geting pate but instead there was a very small amount sauteed. Funny thing is that Joseph ate it thinking it was mushroom and left the mushroom thinking it was fois gras! Too funny!

Dessert was a combination of 3 specially for us because we couldn't decide! Joseph mentioned that the Blueberry bread pudding tamale was good until he found out it had pineapple. So they left the pineapple out. And then we mentioned that we were interested in the strawberries in raspberry sauce or the raspberries in Chambord so he offered to combine it all for us and leave out the pineapple. All I have to say is "HEAVEN!"

And then we they gave us sliced apples dipped in dark chocolate on a skewer just for good measure.

The service was exceptional. Absolutely unsurpassed. I will definitely be coming back. Every group dinner will be here. And people will look at me and ask, "uh... And why are we going to the airport for dinner??". And when we get here and have dinner, a new tradition will be born and they will do the same and so on and so forth...

Seriously.

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In Transit and Treadmill Running

Arrived safe and sound and ahead of schedule into Dallas. We have reservations at the Hyatt Regency right at Terminal C in the airport. We arrived at Terminal D but the hotel is sending a car to come get us. Happy Happy.

This morning, I ended up running 3 miles on the treadmill before leaving Palm Springs. I was very interested in a phenomena that I noticed. About a mile into my run, my left piriformis, my right ITB area and my right hip flexor/TFL area started to complain. In fact, well into the third hour after my run, they were noticeably complaining and many hours later, I can still feel a low-grade grumbling. The interesting thing is not only that I actually noticed it, even though I am typically oblivious, but that I had been runing 6 and 12 miles a day on asphalt, concrete and dirt every day without an issue. In fact, my aches in those areas were almost inconsequential when compared to the pain from the treadmill. And this was after ONLY THE FIRST MILE! So I only ended up running 3 miles total on the treadmill.

I am going to have to get out on roads in icy snowy Boston when I get home. It's better for my body but I'm so bummed out because of the snow and cold. AND WIND! Dang.

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Our flight out of Palm Springs is cancelled

And I am getting very little sympathy from the people at work that I've notified.

Anyway. We got to the airport and our Dallas leg was cancelled, not the Palm Springs to Dallas leg. So we rebooked that one and got a flight out of Dallas tomorrow morning at 10am. Much better than a 6:45 am flight out of Palm Springs and an all day flight to Boston from Dallas.

Now we have to worry about a car and a hotel room. The good news is that an overnight in Dallas is ok since I know it almost like the back of my hand.

Joseph is working on that hotel room. Thank goodness!

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Open Note to All Vendors

Never ever call my Blackberry unless I tell you to. Never ever ever. It's reserved for staff and emergencies.

Calling me on my Blackberry is the fastest way to get on my shit list. Others have tried and now I don't talk to them at all. I also would not answer it unless you were staff or senior management anyway, so you'd be wasting your time.

I know this is a standard sales tactic to make me respond but...it's irritating to have to do this because I felt you cornered me into it (see above paragraph).

There is no way I'm going to be able to meet with you or even have a conversation about ANYTHING the day I get back from VACATION!

No way.

I find it mildly irritating that all vendors seem to think the second you come back from vacation that you want to do nothing more than catch up with them. You can take a number because others have already done this ahead of you. I mean, what do you think happened during VACATION???

Yah.
Nothing.

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Sunday, February 08, 2009

And let's not forget dessert


A coconut sorbet that ends with coconut and starts with Wasabi?

Yah.
I know it when I taste it.
I eat enough sushi to know.

Yah.

Thank God for the Waitress. Best thing in the restaurant.

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Dinner at the Jackalope Trail

It's sort of like a level above Outback. A steak and rib place called the Jackalope on the Jackalope Trail. It opened about a month ago to supposedly great fanfare. And if it's so big, why doesn't it have it's own website? Hmmmm???? Anyway, it feels very Southwestern and a bit contrived - like is it in Texas? Australia? Of course the red checked napkins were a bit confusing. And this was in the "special" back room...

We started off with a single malt. I got the Glenmorangie and Joseph got the Macallan 18. They didn't have much in the way of a scotch selection.

We got a bottle of the Plumpjack Syrah and the very nice waitress who adopted us because our original waiter was in the weeds, brought us two difference glasses to try to see which was the best. And why wouldn't they order the right glasses instead of the ones from IKEA?

We decided against appetizers as we had stuffed ourselves at lunch. But there was nothing that jumped out at us. It may have been different had we been hungry though.

I ended up with the baby back ribs which came with cole slaw and a choice of either black beans or sweet potato puree. I also got a side of cheese jalapeno grits.

Joseph gat the petit filet which came with the grits, the grilled onions, spinach.

I'll just say that the best thing on the menu was the cole slaw. It had apricots, dried cranberries, golden raisins, a dash of carrots, cilantro and a pesto mayo. I'm going to have to experiment making this one. The next best thing was the cheddar jalapeno grits. The ribs were much meatier than any baby back ribs I've ever had - a bit odd but quite good. The bbq sauce was disappointing. Turns out their HOT was NOT. And it could have been that the kid in the back may have filled it with the wrong sauce. What is THAT all about? What happened to Quality Control!?!?

Joseph's steak was also very nice. The sweet potato puree that came with the ribs was a bit odd and I found myself wishing I'd gotten a double order of cole slaw. Oh well, live and learn for the next time.

We'll come here again now that we know what to expect, which isn't a whole lot but it's solid decent fare that will fill you up. And since they've been open only a month, we'll come just to see how they've evolved. I'm not sure that it's at the top of my list as a "regular" place, though.

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Boris thinks he's a dog

So I texted Elizabeth the Niece about my baby Boris. Turns out that Boris has an identity crisis. He thinks that he's a dog.

He waits with Dingle Doggie, tries to eat the dog food, lays in the dogbed and tries to chew the dog bone.

But she assures me that other than that, things are great!

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Spazmataz

I really miss my kitty cat.
My little Boris Baby.
My little Spazmataz.
I hope has hasn't grown since we've been away.

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Roadrunners and woodpeckers

I missed my run this morning. I missed it in that I did not run, on purpose, because of my stupid foot and the rocks that seemed to have bruised it. And I missed it. I really did. I wanted to run but I couldn't so I missed it. So sad.

There seems to be a lot of roadrunners around here. I took a lot of pictures of them. They are quite fast but I imagined them to be much bigger than they are, according to what I knew of them by watching the Coyote and Roadrunner cartoons on Saturday morning when I was young. These things are nowhere the size of a coyote. On the contrary, they are only about 8 inches long from top to tail.

We went to breakfast in Old Town at the Old Town Coffee Shop and came upon the local Farmers Market. We ended up getting some local honey and some really delicious super aged gouda. Who knew that gouda could be so delectable?? We got some to take back to Boston with us.

Then we drove to the Cove trailhead and walked around, climbed some rocks and took some pictures. It's so beautiful and I am really going to miss this place. Really. A lot. This is the first time I've relished running in a strange place and never have I looked forward to a run like I have these past few days.

On the way home, I told Joseph that work was around the periphery of my conscious, pecking away at it here and there, like a woodpecker. And I keep swatting it away and it flys away only to alight once more, around the edges of my mind. I really do not want to go back to work and all the intensity of things that matter to some people and one person in particular, but in the end we are all a number and the "things" keep chugging along like some machine.

Joseph went for a run and I ended up in the pool until I banged my finger so hard on the pool wall that I thought I had broke it. Well, it's something and it's enough to continue my 42-day streak of physical activity.

Afterwards, we ended up shopping and spending a lot of money at the resort shops. And then back to Twenty6 for their Sunday Buffet.

Good grief! I have never had homemade tortillas before! And the fajitas were to die for! And then there was the hot cocoa with the churros. All homemade, all fresh made, all delicious. And for the first time, I tried a homemade pork tamale. Good grief! It was ALL DELICIOUS! So now, I can mark off eating tamales and fajitas at a commercial place ever again. Nothing will ever compare!

Oh. And we did try the grapefruit, fresh off the trees on the resort. I will never look at another grapefruit the same way again.

Well, it's a good thing that we are leaving tomorrow and heading back home. If we stayed, I would go through the food list and not have much I'd want to eat when I got back home.


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Saturday, February 07, 2009

Bellini's Italian Restaurant

Ok. They do not have a website, otherwise I would post it. So, I will post their information here.

It's owned by Marylena and Carlo Pisano. She mans the hostess desk and he is the chef. Very friendly, exceptional service.

They are located on El Paseo (73-111) in Palm Desert right outside of Palm Springs. From our hotel it took about 15 minutes. We got there early and were seated immediately.

The menu wasn't big but it had good coverage. There was a definitely lack of seafood which is understandable since it was Milanese style, northern Italian. They have more meats and fowl, and Joseph says a lot of game meats - pheasants, quail, etc.

Joseph started with a caprese salad that had wonderful mozzerella, soft and in the bufalo style. I had the gorgonzola salad with pears and walnuts. It was okay - I wish it had more candied almonds and the pears were fresh when I had expected braised or roasted. The gorgonzola was very fresh.

We had a bottle of Ducale Reserva Chianti, which you cannot go wrong with. Ever. Not unless the bottle is turned, on the edge or corked. And I have never had one of those with this wine. Joseph said the wine list was disappointing to him in that it wasn't extensive enough. Just about 50% Italian and 50% California and he had expected 75-80% Italian. However, what was on the list was good. Of course, Joseph is a wine guy and I am not sure that most people would have noticed or cared.

For dinner, Joseph had the homemade gnocci which was excellent - light and fluffy. In fact, the lightest and fluffiest that I've ever had. He also had a side of meatballs. I had the Veal al Funghi which had mushrooms and tomatoes in a marsala wine sauce - very different. It was accompanied by 3 perfectly cooked spears of asparagus, and some herbed mashed potatoes which was second to mine. Of course, mine is fully fatted, and therefore different. I asked for a half order of homemade spaghetti and spicy arrabiata sauce. O. M. G. It was delicious!!

For desert, we split an order or spumoni. I had a decaf coffee and Joseph had a Limoncello. Turned out that they used to make their own limoncello but they stopped because it was a lot of work and not enough people ordered it. But it was very good to Joseph. I had a taste and as always, I thought it was bitter. Palates are all different, ya know? But I will say that it was better than any of the limoncello's I've ever had. It turned out the spumoni was homemade.

The service was attentive. The owner (Marylena) had a French accent. She was raised in France bcause her Italian father was an ambassador or something stationed in France. And she has relatives in NY. She could actually be Sicilian. Lots of Sicilians in NY, if you know what I mean. Anyway, she came over several times to chat, and make sure things were good. Very personalized service.

I would recommend this restaurant. If you are expecting the traditional lasagna, and other smothered southern cuisine, go somewhere else. But if you are open and don't mind finding a small quality menu to show off some of the northern style cooking, this place is very very good.

When we come back for vacation next year, we will be putting this on our list of regular restaurants.

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8 turns to 12 1/2

Got up this morning to a slight rain. Of course, they average only 10 days of rain and one of those days happens to be during our vacation. That's ok, though. I'll take 50* and rain to 9* and snow any day of the year! And the rain here is weird. Hard to decribe. It was sort of a "dry" rain. Very strange.

Joseph went ahead of me when the rain stopped. I ended up diddling around so much that when I headed out the rain had started up again. So I made a spit second decision and headed to the fitness center thinking I'd run on the treadmill. But the the door was locked!!. I checked the time. 8am. I check their door. 9am. Who the hell opens the fitness center at 9am??? What kindaplace is this??

So given that it was a 1/4 mile here, and since I wasn't dead from the rain, I made another split second decision to go up into the canyons again. This was mostly because I did not want to wait an HOUR for the fitness center to open!

I was sooo glad I did that. I almost immediately ran into Joseph who said if I run a little further than the yellow sign with the squiggles on it that I usually turn around at, I'd reach the end of the trail in another half mile and there is a trailhead. Hmmmm

So, I just ran. It felt great. I kept running after the yellow sign with the squiggles and I saw the trail head sign - Bear Cove. Hmmm... I looked at my mileage and saw it was not that long... well... it was long but that was okay... I felt good. So, I veered off into the trailhead And it turned out to be some main area with little overhangs and a big sign that showed the trails. I stood there and tried to read the signs. I don't run trails and I didn't know what to do or how to read the signs so I just picked a path and ran. And ran and ran. And at one pointed ended up on a tight twisty technical trail only to find on the way OUT that I could have avoided the whole thing by running down an embankment. HFFFF! I ended up turning my left ankle a few times by stepping painfully on some rocks. So I decided after the third time I'd better not push my luck and head back.

On my way back, around mile 10.36 Joseph showed up in the car. Turns out he was wondering what happened since I had left a note saying I was going for 8 miles. And here I was 2 miles from the hotel after 10 miles. Hmmm. Well if he hadn't told me about that trailhead... So I told him it was his fault. :o))

The last mile of the run was really painful because of my left foot. I didn't know what was going on until I remembered that I had stepped HARD on some rocks 3 or 4 times. And I had a feeling that I had bruised the muscles.

So, I ended up we almost 12.5 miles. Because of the trails, it was really slow but I am glad I did it.

When we leave Monday, I'm really going to miss running here. I have never felt this comfortable running during my travels, and not especially running long. Usually I am so uncomfortable in a new place that I give it up after a day or two of 2 milers. I mean, why the hell run at all, right? Yah. So I don't, usually. But this is different. I have never had such great running. My only regret is my foot. I have a feeling that I am going to have to rest it tomorrow and I am freaked out because I have been working out every day since December 29th and I do not want to take a break. I do not know what I am going to do.

I did sit in the hot tub outside our room for 25 minutes and the heat was nice. I know it will tighten up again later and the pain will return. So I suppose the only thing I can do is drink heavily tonight at the Italian restaurant we're going to.

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Friday, February 06, 2009

Random Thought: Talking Babies

Those babies in commercials that talk like adults?
They do nothing for me.
Yah.
Creeps me out.

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If I lived here

I'd run.
I'd bike.
I'd play golf.

Actually, I would have to move off the driving range and onto the links to actually play golf.
I'd also have to find my clubs and golf shoes.

Oh. And I'd sit in the hot tub.

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This course sucks

We're at the Mountains Golf Course.

It's worse than Granite Links with it's 75 mph winds!
Nothing but sand traps, water hazards and these fuzzy clumps of bushes.
They look like upside down barber brushes.
No way you'll find your ball in this stuff.

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Note to self: Huevos Rancheros

Never go for a run after eating Huevos Rancheros for breakfast. Not even if it is an hour later.

I don't even think that waiting 12 hours would make it a good idea.

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The desert in winter...

...has perfect weather. 50's in the evening and early morning, 60's during the day. A slight breeze, enough for a light jacket with short sleeves underneath and shorts.

I love this resort, La Quinta Resort and Spa in... guess where... La Quinta (yup), which is right next door to Palm Springs.

As far as I can tell this whole area is just for golf. It's a valley surrounded by rocky hills and mountains with palm trees and scrubs. I think the palm trees are not exactly native to the area.

We got here on Wednesday night around 6. Yesterday, I went to a 6 mile run on the Bear Creek Trail. It's a nice concrete path a dirth trail running right next to it. As far as I can tell it's about 3-4 miles long. I haven't been to the end yet. Running on it was wonderful! After, we stayed on resort and did 3 hours of spa actvities after a lunch at the Spa Bistro. I had wonderful fish tacos and Joseph had. a grilled chicken on brioche. We also ordered homemade handcut onion rings and washed it all down with a modelo. The fish tacos looked so good that Joseph had one of the two that came in my order. And he LIKED it! Which was good because there was no way I was eating both.

Wednesday night we went to the Adobe Grill and had guacamole made tableside. I did not feel guilty eating it because all it was was avocado, onion, tomato, jalapeno, cilantro and a little salt. NO oil! I know if you get it from the grocery, it's 100 calories per 2 tablespoons! I mean who eats just TWO TABLESPOONS? Yah. That's about what I eat on ONE TORTILLA CHIP!! Half way through, I stopped the chips and had it plain by the forkful. I did take a breath inbetween so that Joseph could get a few picks at it. That was acompanied by a yummy margarita (only one) and then for dinner I had a pecan crusted halibut on a whole wheat pasta with a mango banana sauce with some small thimblefulls of strange accompaniments - about 6 pearl onions in some sort of chili pepper sauce and red beans and sausage in a tiny little cup.

Joseph had a shrimp baja which was melange of sausage and shrimp with veggies and cubed potatoes. It had a flavor similar to a marsala but with Mexican spices. And of course there was desert. Joseph had fried bananas with vanilla ice cream and I had sopapillas, 3 round mexican donuts a little bigger than large munchkins on a skewer axccompanied by some yogurt cream dip. I had half and Joseph had the other.

This morning we just went to the on resort coffee shop and I ended up with a lox and bagel sandwich. I only ate half and saved the other half for later in our handy dandy fridge. Then I was off for a 6.5 mile run.

After the run, we went off to the golf course. We had a god breakfast there - I had the corned beef hash with poached eggs and Joseph had a breakfast sandwich with hash browns. Both were very yummy.

We are trying to limit our intake of food. I am trying to eat half my food only. I haven't logged my food yet so I don't know how bad it's been. But I've been running 6 miles a day so far. And tomorrow and Sunday, I'm hoping to get in 8 or 9. Of course I'll run Monday - hopefully another 6 before heading back to Boston and the ice and snow with inhuman subarctic temperatures! GAH!

I am really liking this "desert in winter" event. Next year there is a 100 mile ride one weekend and a half marathon the following weekend. We might just have to come back and time it for those two events, ship our bikes out, etc.

Or I could just move out here.
That would be much easier.

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Thursday, February 05, 2009

Eating fit during vacation

I would have to say that the two biggest sabotages to eating well and eating fit (1) are your friends that surround you daily and (2) going on vacation.

I don't worry about my friends because most of them are out of state.
And those that live around me are lead equally busy and full lives so I don't see them that much. And when I do, they are also very fit and totally "get" that I only eat out and have cheat days on Saturdays. There are exceptions but since they are always "in training," they understand when I say that I am "in training" and food never really becomes an issue or a point of peer pressure. None of them care if I don't have that drink or leave that last bite. In fact, most of them are the opposite and they seem to eye the healthiness of what you eat as opposed to pressuring you to eat unhealthy. They total "get it."

However, vacations are a totally different thing.
They wreak havoc on your eating plan. You are not only out of your routine, but finding the foods you eat daily, especially at a hotel, is difficult at best.

So, I am doing my best and not eating myself into oblivion while I am here. I now have a tendency to decompose all my food. This morning I had Huevos Rancheros with my usual egg and 2 egg whites instead of 2 whole eggs. That saved about 60 cals. But then it had 2 corn tortillas, cheese, pico, guacamole, potato, refried beans. I'm going to log all that into Fitday. I ran 3 miles longer than usual as a result. It's not enough of a caloric burn but it's something more that's good for me.

We went to the spa bistro for lunch before our respective spa activities. The menu was very limited so I was pretty happy. Even then, I ended up with fish tacos and instead of broiled or grilled fish, it had a battered and fried fish. And it came with TWO tacos. Why two? Why not just one? I couldn't eat both so I gave one to Joseph.

I figure I'll be running at least 6 miles a day, maybe go for a couple of swims. And they have somewhat of an ok gym so I even contemplated some sort of lifting but that probably won't happen.

I am also trying to adopt a more "eat til you're not hungry, not until you're full" attitude. It's sort of hard but so far I've done ok compared to all the other vacations I've had.

I am in training
I am in training
I am in training...

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Fueling up

We are at the spa bistro almost done with lunch. I had the fish tacos. Delicious. There were two so I ate one and gave the other to Joseph. I should have asked for a half order!

At 1:15 we go in for our long arduous spa activities. I'm getting a body exfoliation, a facial and a massage. That'll take about 3 hours or so give or take with transitions. Happy happy.

Joseph is getting a sunshower and a man's facial thing.

On the way back to the room, I'll stop in at the lobby and get a couple of apples to refuel from the long arduous spa activities.

I'll have to relax afterwards to prepare for our big Mexican dinner where they will make us some guacamole tableside.

I love this place.
I could really get used to things.

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Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Oh and another thing

They are all White.
All of them.

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If the airport is any indication...

...this is also the land of the Giant Men.
Huge.
Not just out but tall.
Maybe height helps the golf ball go farther.
And all that weight may help, too.
And they are loud.

Interesting...

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We have arrived

In the land of sunshine.
Otherwise known as Palm Springs.

Supposedly, they only get 10 days a year of rain.
No snow.
Evidenced by the open air "hallway" connecting the terminal to baggage/ticketing.
First time I've seen anything like it.

But why shouldn't it be that way?
This is the desert, after all.

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Monday, February 02, 2009

No Nonsense

In the middle of a phone conference, someone sent me an IM and this article and told me that they thought of me when they read it.

He said, "no nonsense."
I am going to consider that a major compliment.

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