Thursday, April 30, 2009

Note to Self: Food Channel

Never watch the food networkwhen you
are on a calorie-restricted diet and you are hungry.
Especially, when it's my favorite show, Unwrapped, and they are talking about
Carnival Foods.

I gotta get me some of those Pronto Pups.

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Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Swines!

This latest just in from the WHO:
"An alert from the World Health Organization signaled that the swine flu virus could pose a prolonged public health threat."


The last time these an outbreak like this, it killed 40+ million people in 1918 or so.

FORTY PLUS MILLION.

That's you, me, our families...
It's some scary stuff.

SCARY!!!

Thank goodness I'm getting my haircut now.
Just in case I have to hole up at home for the foreseeable future, at least I will look good.

And Joseph better not be bringing it home.

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Body Aches

And no, it's not the swine flu. It's Scary Trainer.

Good GRIEF! First week back working out with him after the marathon, and he's killing me! Two days and my whole body just ACHES! And one more session to go this week. Of course I'm on this crazy diet, and since I'm not getting a lot of calories, it could be that my body isn't healing very fast. And I guess if you add the fact that I've been running every morning, it just compounds things.

I am happy that I will be relegated to a single mile tomorrow morning because of a crazy 8am meeting I have. And I get to eat normal tomorrow.

Dim Sum, anyone?

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Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Diet Note: 3 days on, 3 day off

I am on this diet that my sister sent me from the hospital's obesity clinic. I get about 1200-1300 calories for 3 days of prescribed eating. Then I get to eat whatever I want for four days.

The four days that I am off, I will go back to my regular 1900-2000 calorie eating plan that Scary Trainer has me on. He okayed this plan for now. Especially considering I am going away for a week just about every 3 weeks between now and July!

This first week, I've been really hungry so I've been cheating a little with beef jerkey. I figure it's low fat and high protein so there are worse things that I can cheat with.

But if I can get in the habit of drinking diet soda, I should be okay. I will try that tomorrow and see what happens.

I am hoping I can sustain this approach through the summer. I just want to drop 5 pounds. Five measely pounds!

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Workout Note

Whoa. Last week, I ran a total of almost 45 miles. That is my longest week, ever. Good grief. There was a day when I could never do that. I'd get injured.

Of course, that includes a marathon on Monday. Whatever. Details.


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Sunday, April 26, 2009

26.2 on May 17

I just signed up for the Sugarloaf Marathon on May 17th. This will give me Maine in my 50-states+DC quest.

I better have overcast skies and a heavy tailwind.

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Saturday, April 25, 2009

A Classic Study in Ball Park Drunks

When you're a Yankee Fan in Red Sox Nation, you need to know how to keep a low profile. And this means that you can wear subdued Yankee gear but never to the ball park.

And when you go to a ball game, you never wear your team's colors. You learn to keep a straight face, don't cheer too loudly and keep your head down. Always. Especially if your consider how schizophrenic and ugly Red Sox fans can be.

And there are always drunks half way through the game that sit close to you. There are the nice drunks who get nicer. And then there are the ugly ones who get uglier as the game goes on. Doesn't matter if their team is winning or losing. They look around and find someone in the crowd and become annoyingly loud and rude. And that's pretty difficult at a ball game where everyone is screaming their heads off cheering for their team!

There are always words that turn to gestures and shouts. And the real measure of a drunk is when he turns his taunts and anger to a different set of people than the one he was originally yelling at. And all without a clue, in total ignorance and utter conviction of absolute rightness.

It's a classic study. There is a moment of crescendo, when they can't get worse. You just sit hopuing they don't turn around and just lash out at anyone within arm's reach. Then they start to sober up a bit, realize that they've been an ass, then they start trying to befriend everyone else around them that they hadn't targeted. Most people just smile indifferently, with no intention of reciprocating, having already labled the guy as an ass about few hours earlier.

And so it goes. Another ball park, another asshole sitting in my vicinity making a further ass of Red Sox Nation. And they wonder why Red Sox fans have such a bad rep.

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Pastey Whites

We are at Fenway watching the Sox and Yankees battle it out. It's the first hot day of the year and all the Pastey Whites are out. They are not only pastey white but fleshy and doughy from a winter of eating and inactivity.

On second thought, I bet they are fleshy and doughy without winter.

At least it's a beautiful day for a ball game!

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Friday, April 24, 2009

Going home

At an Irish pub drinking a Guiness.
Life is good!
Waiting for my Fish 'n Chips.
YUMMY!

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Going back home and doing just great!

Still in Dallas. I am flying out on the 1:20 flight and arriving around 6:05. This means I got to run today and I get to do a little catching up and work before I leave.

Speaking of running, I am doing great. I did an easy 3.05 miles this morning and my shin pain is almost down to normal. It's never zero. It's usually a 1 or a 2 after a hard long run. And that's about where it is. Starting out, it was a little slow going but I got caught up real fast and ended up doing some 9:05 pace for a bit.

I am still thinking about doing Sugarloaf on May 17th. I have to let Scary Trainer know this weekend so that he can adjust the schedule. I know he will be disappointed. He was looking forward to the next phase of training and weight loss. But he has to realize that I run and this is what I am and it is not going to change. The interesting thing is that he told me that I needed to rest and not do anything. I told him I was in active recovery. So, maybe he is right but I know that just stopping and not doing anything is not the right answer either.

Active recovery. Huh. It's funny to hear myself say that since stopping everything for a month was totally reasonable to me before.

I do know that if I run Sugarloaf, I am going to have to drop a few pounds to keep Scary Trainer off my back. Not that he is on my back or anything. But he is also learning about how to train someone who is not a couch potato. So now he has to learn how to train someone who runs marathons. Wait til I run marathons and bike centuries. I think his head will explode! LOL!

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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Moving a little slowly today

But I'm getting better.

I went for a run this morning.

Boy, was it slow. My legs wouldn't move at first but then they'd loosen up. Still not all that fast though. In fact, really really slow. So slow that I think it might have been faster for me to walk.

This is the first time I've done something like this - actually train through a recovery. Before, I'd take a month off after a marathon. And then take another month to shake off the inertia. And a third month to get ramped up again. No wonder I could never make it by more than 650 miles a year. Hmmmm...

I suppose I was so ill-trained before that I had no choice but take a month off to recover. But this time it's different.

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Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Landed in Dallas

Ok. We landed and I am at baggage claim.

My legs are a little sorer and now my left ankle hurts on the inside. Piss.
I forgot about DOMS.
I knew it was too good to be true.

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Never mind...

Ok. Forget Delaware. Just saw the course profile and read that it's TWO LOOPS! GAH!!!

Sugarloafmight be the one instead.

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Another Marathon

Ok. I'm thinking of doing the Delaware marathon on May 17th.

I've never been so well trained before. Never. I am barely sore today. My feet pain is gone. I am just tight and a little sore in my shins and adductors because of the downhills which is to be expected.

I'm heading to Texas for work and this sounds crazy but I've got all my running gear packed and I intend to take full advantage of all the heat down there!

I don't want to lose this momentum.

I am so psyched. My finish time at Boston was a decision by me to pull back at mile 4 when I felt the headwind. I just found out they were 20 mph with gusts over that. I had it the whole way. And the way I feel today was unthinkable!

I credit all my lifting to being able to run strong and be more aware or my body. And I credit consistent running day after day with 35-44 mile weeks.

Now I'm thinking if I can drop 3-5 pounds and do pick ups or fartleks...

I think I'm gonna do Delaware in May. Who's with me??

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A sea of blue jackets!

I'm at the airport.

Everyone has the same blue jacket.
I'm so glad I bought the track jacket. :o)

Now I don't look like the masses.

Hmmm. Looks like everyone here ran the marathon!

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Race Report: Open Letter to My Donors

Greetings and Good Tidings!

A new day dawns and recovery is speeding along. Amazing. I am grateful and humbled by your generosity and support since January, for your contributions to The Women's Lunch Place in support of their efforts to provide safe haven for the poor and homeless women of Boston.

I am openly sending this to all of you so that you may know one another and applaud each other's efforts. As of last Friday, we have collectively raised $5,254.80, and tomorrow I am sending two more checks - last minute donations where every penny counts.

I am extremely happy with my performance. It was not my best marathon time ever, but it was the best time I've had in a marathon in my memory. This run was dedicated to the memory of my mother. For those of you who know, there is a great deal of meaning behind this when I say this is the first time that I think she was with me, the entire way, making me a better person - at least for 26.2 miles.

Marathon morning dawned deceptively beautiful. My training told me that a realistic goal was 4:30-4:40. I had taken a year off of running to do strength training and this time, I knew I was strong and very well trained. At mile 4, the headwinds were persistent. By the the time the second corral crossed the starting line, they were blowing a consistent 20 mph. So I changed my goal. 5 hours, give or take - hopefully less. And have fun, notice the race and the crowds, finish smiling and doing the two-step - something I've never done before in the marathon.

I noticed the guy dressed in the questionable banana suit. And Batman and Robin, who were quite short. There was Superman, or was it Super Boy? And the crazy BC Super Fan guy who only wore red shorts and red body paint. I noticed the huge yellow "short cut" sign right after Ashland with a giant arrow pointing to their yard. And the sort of large-ish woman carrying a sign in front of her that said it was her first marathon. She obviously didn't know that flat boards and headwind create a wall of an entirely different kind. Hopefully she has learned her lesson.

Three inspirations that brought tears to my eyes - the backward guy pushing himself in his wheel chair. Backwards. With the toes of one foot. The soldiers in full fatigue and 50-pound packs. God bless America. And the man pulling a trailer with an oxygen tank to help him breathe. It was tied to his waist to free his arms, and a hazard symbol hung on the back with "oxygen" imprinted on it. Inspirations to make me forget the pain in my hips and the ache in my feet.

The Wellesley Girls. Unimaginable. The wind was blowing from the east and you could hear them from a mile away. They have changed through the years - from mostly Caucasians until now, mostly Asians.

I thanked the volunteers for being out there for us. I smiled and waved to the crowds and thanked them for staying so long and for still cheering - it means a lot to us at the back.

And then there were the Survivors - all dressed in pink. And the runners in purple who were running for those that weren't. And the ones from Children's Hospital running for those who Hoped.

The media makes a big deal of the elite race up front. But the human race, the real race, is at the back. Each one of us carried a story and reasons for running. We ran to unburden those who could not run for
themselves.

My final time was 5:01:04. Missed it by a minute-four. But I'm okay with that. That minute-four was spent walking with a guy who was limping from an ITB blowout, and by giving salt tablets to another guy
who was walking doubled over in pain, and slowing down to talk to two girls from Medford Softball who were running their first marathon with their Dad - errr, who was giving them some bad advice. There were so many others. One minute four. They were minutes well spent. I wasn't a contender but I won in the long run.

And so, I thank each and every one of you for being there in spirit and running with me. And I thank the Women's Lunch Place for giving me an opportunity to be a better person - at least for a moment, to reach out and help those less fortunate.

I applaud you all.

2009 Boston Marathon, Team WLP

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Monday, April 20, 2009

Pre-race thoughts

Another long training run.

I can't believe I'm going to run this race. Of course feeling this way is acknowledging that this is more than just another long training run. Must think about that...

7:52 am. I'm starting to get hungry. I wonder if I should eat my sandwich now or wait til we get to Athlete's Village.

I have to pee. Again.

Long line of yellow school buses. I'm so glad I'm not on one of those. At least we can stay on our club bus and we have a bathroom in the back. Hmmm... Which is occupied right now.

I'm might plant that garden in May. Mid-may they said. I guess I have to wood and lots of dirt. I wonder if I should get manure, too.

People walking to the start. They must live here. We must be close.

Ok. I hope I had enough to eat. Maybe I should have brought that banana.

I have to remember fig newtons for the next race! OMG. They hit the spot. Don says they're the perfect marathon food. He should know after 175 marathons!

I need to use the bathroom again. And that line is long again. And it's cold out.

OMG. Don has Fig Newtons. That was so good. It topped off my tank. I think I'm good now. I have to get fig newtons for the house.

Everyone is coming back into the bus. They are emanating cold air from their persons. Jeez.

Gotta use the bathroom. Again.

Gotta use the bathroom. AGAIN!!! GAH!!!!

Time to go. Must find the porta potty line close to the start.

OH! Sign in Chinese. Hmmm... Ok. It says "good luck" on it. Thank goodness it's translated underneath.

Porta Potties!!!! Must go stand in line! Oh. Jenn!!!

This is a long line.

I think that other line if moving faster. Dang.

Oh. That guy is dressed like a banana. Whoa. The bottom of that banana end looks nasty. If it wiggled it would be really nasty.

Lines moving pretty fast.

Ok. My turn.

Gotta get back in line. I have 15 minutes til race start.

Hmmm... It's thinning out.

Line is moving slower.

Wow. Batman and Robin. They're really short.

My turn.

Get back in line. Maybe not. Walk to the start around the corner. I wonder if I can stand here and wait for my numbers to run by so I can jump in without expending too much energy.

Dang. They're making me walk to the corral.

Ok. Has the race started??

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Race Day Morning

The ride to Hopkinton is always so long.
All I think about is having to run the distance back.

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Saturday, April 18, 2009

2 More Days

2 more days until Race Day.
I went for a 2 mile run this morning. Slow. Sluggish.
I took note of the headwind since it's about what is being predicted for the race. Nothing like the Nor'easter two years ago but it will still impact the point in the race when I start getting tired (early) and my finish time (slower than the usual slow).

And I've been on my feet since 8am this morning.
The only time I've sat is when I was in the car driving to the grocery store or to the pie store or to Trader Joe's. Been in then kitchen all day cooking for the big brunch we host at our place every year. There are about 40 people coming.

This is why I hate running this race. My legs are never rested enough because I stand in the kitchen all freekin day cooking. And I can't enjoy myself all that much because I am stressed from not being rested.

And today is no different. My feet are throbbing right now. I could just cry.

So far, 4 people about of 11 staying with us have arrived. They are at the expo. The rest will be dribbling in all afternoon. Good thing we do not have to cater to them every minute.

Tonight we have the annual Big City encounter dinner. We will have to walk there. It's about a mile and there's no parking. Great.

And I haven't showered or bushed my teeth yet. And I don't even want to because showering means I have to stand on my feet.

This is my last Boston.
The End.


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Thursday, April 16, 2009

4 More Days

Four more days until the Marathon and I am strangely calm. Still. Very strange.


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Tuesday, April 14, 2009

In like a lion!

I guess Spring has sprung.
It's 60 degrees and sweltering out. Egads!!

It's about 15 degrees cooler in Boston, though.

I hate that about Spring and Summer.
Going to work I have to dress for the cold while I am there.
But on the way there and back, it's swelteringly hot.

It makes me crazy.

I think I should work from home more this year.
Yup.

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Monday, April 13, 2009

Five Years and Better than Ever

We went to New York City to celebrate our 5 year anniversary. We got married on Marathon Weekend because we met due to running and the marathon, etc.

And this is where the Law of Unintended Consequences takes over. Little did I know that getting married on Marathon Weekend meant we could never celebrate by going away or being alone during our anniversary because we run the marathon (at least Joseph runs it every year) and we host about 10 runners for the weekend and we have a huge brunch for 30-50 of our running friends from all over the world and all over the country.

So, this year was going to be more of the same until our friend Michael from NYC invited us to a surprise birthday party for his wife Mary. Of course we had to go! There was never a question. But we decided to make it a long weekend and enjoy ourselves. Alone. Just the two of us. We didn't tell our many friends in the area that we were coming.

Whenever we're in NYC, we go to Delfrisco's for dinner. It has meaning for us because Joseph was there to support me during my NYC marathon. He didn't run. He just waved a pink flag and met me all over the city. And in Harlem, when I saw him standing there cheering, I broke down and cried because I couldn't go on anymore, he was there to run me in as far as he could go. Through Central Park. And to my PR marathon time. And we went to Delfrisco's to celebrate. Not just my race but those of a group of very special friends, some who ran, some who supported the runners. And we've been going there ever since.

So last night was no exception. What a terrific place. They're service is professional and attentive without being cloying. They are high end without being stuffy. They are casual in a way that a high end place can be because they know they are good and quality is what it's about, not all the put-ons and pretensions. I love that about DelFrisco's. And you never get a bad meal. Never.

Turns out there are a lot of people from New England in NYC. Our waitress was from Methuen. And the Maitre'd is from Winthrop!

We started with tuna tartare and a baked crab cake on remoulade sauce. Fabulous!!

Joseph ordered the 8 oz filet with a shiitake mushroom merlot reduction. And I ordered a peppered 16 oz ribeye. Delicious!! I left a lot on the plate. Who eats a POUND O' MEAT?? Well, I certainly don't.

We also got a sweet potato casserole and creamed spinach to share! Delicious. They know how to make a fresh creamed spinach!! And that sweet potato casserole was so delicious. Mashed with a brown sugar crumb topping.

Joseph ordered a bottle wine by bin number. I wasn't paying much attention. I was busy with my Clynelish. :o)). And then the sommelier came up with glasses and the wine. I didn't know it was the sommelier unti later. But she said something about bringing out the "good glasses" for the wine. Then she presented the bottle to me.

OMG! I was speechless. A bottle of 1985 Chateau Pichon LongvilleComtesse de LaLande. It's my favorite. So much meaning. My first bottle of red wine given to me by my father when I was young and stupid and he was alive and vibrant. So much meaning. I cried.

The Sommelier took it back to decant it. I'm sure she tasted it to make sure it was fine. It was the last bottle they had. She brought it back, asked me to taste it, which I did knowing full well she would never serve it if it were bad. It was magnificent. When I smelled it, the wonderful scent of rare books that good bordeaux always seem to emit. Wonderful. And the taste was so deep and complex. As it unraveled while it sat, you could taste the earth that it was grown in. What is it is about French wine? There's nothing like it.

For dinner, we had a small bottle of 2002 Chateau de Yquem Sauterne to celebrate the year we met. So delicious.

It was a wonderful celebration filled with love and memories and lots of laughter. Always laughter. I look back and we have lived a lifetime in our five years together. But then again, we are convinced we have lived a lifetime together already. We are looking forward to the next five years. To living another lifetime together. Forever.

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Exit the King

With Susan Sarandon and Geoffrey Rush on Broadway.

I thought it was a drama.
It is a comedy with drama underneath.
A dark comedy with a statement on Life, Death, love, and Hope.

The King has a monologue on life. "It's all me," he says (paraphrasing here). "It's all about me. ". And how true it is. No matter who we have in our lives, and who we love, it IS all about "me."

Then there is Love and Hope represented by Queen Juliette, played by Lauren Ambrose of Six Week Under. Even Love and Hope's enthusiasm for life can't hold back death.

And then Harsh Glare of Reality represented by Queen Marguerite played by the wonderful Susan Saradon (who looks great, I might add). In the end, it is she who leads King Berenger to his final breath.

I felt that it was a methaphor of life. We live with love, hope and laughter. But there is always the undercurrent of seriousness and the sobering reality of what this life really is. And that it ends. For each of us. And as we decay, the world decays with us. Our world. The way we define "me."

It was an awesome play. Very profound. I'm so glad we went.

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Sunday, April 12, 2009

Off the beaten publications

During the run today, I ran up 53rd and noticed a lot of restaurants, one after the other. I wasn't sure if they were all open for lunch though. Then I turned onto 2nd and noticed the Buttercup Bake Shop. The last time we were there was with Joanne and Luke. And since then I've read about them in various publications and thought "I've been there!". They make cupcakes. I love cupcakes.

When I got back to the room, I told Joseph about all that I had seen and noticed. This was amazing in and of itself because I never see anything. And if I do, I certainly never remember seeing anything.

After showering and getting ready for the day, we headed up toward 53rd to see what we could find. And we ended up at Luna Piena on East 53rd and 2nd Ave.

It was very Italian. From the owner to the wait staff to the wines and menu.
I could have sworn they were FOB (Fresh Off the Boat).
We started with a bufalo mozzarella and cherry tomato appetizer which was drizzled with olive oil. It was delicious. You rarely find bufalo mozzarella on any menu. And we had this with mimosas, tradition brunch item.

Joseph had a pasta with meatballs. And I had a grouper with saffron rosemary potatoes and steamed broccoli. I had a glass of Orvieto. Perfect with the fish. The whole meal was fabulous. Delicious.

For dessert we ended up with an Italian cheesecake which was made with ricotta cheese. I ordered pistachio gelato, which wasn't want wierd irridescent green of most pistachio ice creams you see. And cappucino. Must have cappucino. No one makes coffee like the Italians!

It was absolutely fabulous. We didn't read about it in some major tourist publication. And we knew the locals in Midtown East came here regularly. There were a couple of large parties that were definitely made up of locals and families because of the way they were greeted. That's akin to going to a Korean restaurant and having it filled with Koreans!

We will put it down for a must-revisit sometime in the future.
If you're ever in the neighborhood, throw away those "Where to Eat" and "Dining" tourist rags and just walk over to 53rd and 2nd for a friendly, delicious meal.

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Running in Central Park

After our 10 hour sleep, I went for my 10 mile long run.
2 miles there, 2 miles back and a loop around Central Park.
Perfect.

There was a bit of wind but the sun was out and it wasn't raining.
Beautiful.
I love running in Central Park and it felt so good to be there.

I wore the DS Trainers.
It has no heel support so I could feel every step jarring through my body.
My pace was decent, which I was happy about.
But it confirmed for me that I can't run more than 6 miles in these shoes.

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Sleep

I can't believe we slept for 10 hours.
We must have needed it.
This is what happens when you don't have a dog and a cat waking you up at 3 and 4am.
Every morning.

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Saturday, April 11, 2009

Exceeding expectations

Ok.

Did anyone know that they have restaurants in Grand Central Station? And I'm not talking about the food court. I'm talking about the Oyster Bar and Restaurant.

It's in the basement.
But don't scoff.

It's huge and it's beautiful. Tiled and arched ceilings, dark wood panelling, tiled floors, very nice.

Joseph ordered a Chablis.
We started out with 16 oysters - four each of Kumamoto, Blue Point, Sunset Beach from California, and Bogue's Bay in Virginia.
Delicious.

Then I ordered a black cod, pan fried but I could tell it was finished in the oven. It can with rice pilaf and perfectly steamed broccoli, cauliflaur.

Joseph had a caesar salad with crab meat and jumbo shrimp.

My dinner was delicious. The Black Cod aka sablefish aka butterfish melted in my mouth and so delectable!

I had a taste of Joseph's salad and it's probably the best caesar salad I've ever had. It was fabulous! Joseph was very happy.

For dessert, we split a spiced honey ice cream. Good grief! Delicious. Very different. It had Indian spices in it. I felt like I was eating a frozen vanilla masala chai! I only had a few spoonfuls since I can't eat a lot of dairy. But it was so good that a spoonful was enough. Not sure Joseph would see my way. Especially since he had most of it!

This far exceeded our expectations. In fact, we had 3 other back up restaurants in case we didn't want to stay. Instead, this is one place we will make it back to. And being in Grand Central Station, it's easy to find and get to.

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Shoemania!!!

Good grief!
And I am talking about Shoe Mania!!!

After lunch we decided to walk around Koreatown and see if we could get some new shoes so we would have dry shoes to walk around in.

Leave it to Joseph.

He spotted Shoemania.

Yah.
That's the name of the store.
Leave to Joseph to find the busiest, most chaotic store in Manhanttan!

But they had great shoes, the service was awesome, and they had a buy-one-get-the-second-for-half-price sale. I ended up with a pair of wonderful Merrells that are casual shoes and so comfortable along with a pair of Camper's that are brown that has a cat on one shoe, a dog on the other, and cat and dog embroidered on them. :o)) I have a black pair I got in Iceland but these are different than the ones from Iceland. I love Camper's. Love. Them.

Joseph ended with a pair of Merrells and Rockports. The Merrells will replace an old pair but the Rockports were more trendy than Joseph's usual but it was also conservative at the same time. "Jean shoes" he called them.

We are thinking about going back tomorrow.

It's Easter Sunday tomorrow so it should be less crowded.

But then again, this is New York.

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New Shoes and New Lunch

After breakfast, we decided to explore Upper East Side since we would be in the neighborhood when we visted our friend Mary's store (Jackrabbit Sports). The store was great. And the staff was awesome. Of course. If you work with Mary you have to be awesome because she's an awesome person, and only awesome people need apply. Ya know?

So after making some purchases of shoes, socks, and other stuff, we walked around the neighboorhood and I thought, in a word, that it was boring. Dull. Dull dull dull. No need to go back there that's for sure. The most exciting moment was when a woman with bandaid over one eye was looking up at the store sign and was walking a little and therefore squeezing us between her and the building. I said something, then she saw us and she said something, and we exchanged words and she said I could go around her and I said she had us pinned with her big body and well... I told her she did not want to go there... and that was that. I walked in and the guy at the counter was laughing. Glad to provide morning entertainment.

The interesting thing about this store is that they fit you by watching you run on a treadmill using a video cam. I tried on the Nike Vomeros, which did not work. I have a slight pronation on my left foot only. I was afraid to do it but I finally tried on my favorite shoes, Mizuno Elixers, and they were perfect! Yahoo! Then just for grins I tried on a pair of Zoots. And ya know? they worked. They controlled my left foot. Wow. Not a lot of support and they are really light but bought it since I want a pair to alternate with. I'll give it a whirl next week to see how it is.

Afterwards, we made a spur of the moment decision to go to Koreatown for lunch and we finally relented and hailed a cab.

We just started to walked and saw an interesting looking new-ish place called Don's Bogam. It was a Korean BBQ and wine bar. Huh! I didn't know that Koreans drank anything other than whisky and Soju (which is a whisky).

We were warmly greeted and the hostess gave us a plastic bag for our umbrellas. And then seated us right away.

We ordered Mandoo because we always do. We ordered it fried because that is similar to how I make it and Joseph likes to compare. Theirs was deep fried, which I found interesting. The dumpling was quite good. Different than mine but good. Joseph really liked the dipping sauce.

We ordered a daenjang chigae which is a soybean paste stew homestyle with fermented soy beans, zucchini, straw mushrooms, fish base broth with spices, hot green peppers, onionsn clams, etc. It's wonderful comfort food having grown up with it.

We also got the Beef Rib meat BBQ with hot soicy sauce that was served on a bed of sliced sweet onions on a blazing hot cast iron pan. The beef was cooked in the kitchen instead of us having to grill it on the tabletop grill.

And it came with the requisite rice and banchan. Lots and lots of banchan.

The serving sizes were just right and we were very satisfied without have to worry about leftovers.

We also ordered a 2005 Burgundy. The first bottle was corked. But the second bottle was delicious and went very well with all the food!

I'm glad we ducked into a new place. We had originally thought about going to the Korean dumpling place. But the food at Don's Bogam was wonderful, clean, delicious and the atmosphere was modern. The service was also very good.

We will definitely go back to this place in the future.

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Note to Self: Rainy Day Shoes

Never wear your Ecco's with mesh uppers in the rain in NYC. Especially if you will be walking A LOT.

And if you do, be sure to bring an extra pair of shoes to back up the sopping wet pair you wore in the rain walking all over Manhattan.

Yup.
Yup yup yup.

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The best comfort food in NYC...

Can be found at the Comfort Diner.

There are four locations and we went to the one on 45th and 3rd.
Food was fast, hot, delicious, and not greasy. That's amazing considering it is a Diner which by definition means "greasy."

We ordered some Red Flannel Hash which had chunks of corned beef, sweet potato, onion, scallions and beets. It was YUMMY. Very differnt.

Joseph had eggs benedict with bacon. Different. Joseph said he liked it.

I had an omelet with mushroom, onion and bacon. YUMMY!

A definite place to visit for good breakfast food!

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I am OUT!!

It's Easter Saturday, and my boss's boss is sending me emails.

I know I set my Out of Office Message letting everyone know that I am out.
OUT.
Not in the office.
O-U-T.

Sheesh.

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It was definitely the shoes

I went for a run this morning in the rain in NYC.
Yes.
It's raining.
But it's a warm rain.
And it didn't burn holes into me or anything.

I ran in my Karhus.
First thing I noticed was the bounce.
And that my legs weren't heavy and tired.
But I can't use these for anything longer than 4-5 miles because my feet go numb.

Yah.
No idea why.

So, 3.18 miles at a slower than usual pace but I attribute that to being in a strange city, looking for streets, slowing down for lights, etc etc etc.

So, I think the prior run was bad because of the shoes.
Definitely.

On another note: Another day of running. 104 days of working out.

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Friday, April 10, 2009

Big Time in the Big City!

We're in NYC.
Took the train down.
I forgot my soduku book.
Boring boring boring.

We checked into the Tudor Hotel in Midtown East. It seems we always stay in Midtown East.
It is costing us $85 a night through priceline.

It's very nice and very European.
The room is very cute and the bed is firm and comfortable.

We went out to roam.
Walked to Grand Central.
Took the Number 7 to Times Square.
Switched to the Number 1 uptown.
Got off, walked a block, turned right.
And Lo and Behold! What do my eyes see???

BLONDIES!!!!
Wings and Beer!

We haven't been here in years.
We're sitting at the bar.
Beer in hand and wings ordered.

Happy happy happy!!

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Workout Note

I would like to officially state that I have worked out every single day since Dec 29th of 2008.

That's 103 days in a row.

In. A. Row.

Just sayin'...

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Slow Shoes

So, this morning I go for a 6 mile run.
It was one of my slowest ever.
I was so annoyed.

Just when I'm tapering and with only 10 days until the marathon, my legs are sluggish and won't move. WTH???

So I pondered on it.
And I concluded it must be the shoes.
Brooks Glycerines. GAH!

And I thought back and realized that every time I wear these shoes, my hamstrings and calves hurt. And my upper thighs. Always the upper thighs. And I HATE it when my upper thighs hurt! On any kind of decline, my thighs are working overtime because the forefoot is so wide. And it's as if the soles have some sort of dampening effect - it absorbs the step and gives nothing back. No bounce.

I hate these shoes.

Even my Mizuno Alchemy's that weigh a bit more than these have more give and bounce!

I hate these shoes. So I'm going to send them to my sister with less than half the usual mileage on them. She just walks to and from work in the shoes I send her so it'll be ok. They are quite nice to stand around in. Or even to walk in. I am so annoyed with these shoes that I'm not even going to wear them at the gym like I do the other pairs before I rotate them out to my sister! She is going to love them! And they are almost new.

So, for the first time in my running life, I'm actually noticing the effect that shoes have on my run. I guess if you're out there consistently and putting miles on your legs with focus and intent, you're liable to notice every little difference. And for the first time in my running life, I am also going to call it quits on a pair of shoes. For me, this is huge. It's like walking off the marathon course because you are having a bad day. These shoes were giving me a bad day whenever I ran in them.

Now I need to find a pair of shoes that I can alternate with my Mizuno Elixers. Looks like I might be trying out the Nike Zoom Elites again. The old ones had a tendency to get "squishy" at half life. But they're light and comfy and have the heel to toe drop that I like. All the other shoes in my repertoire are heavier, slower and inefficient for anything longer than 6 to 8 miles.

In the meantime, I'll be looking for a big sale on MIzuno Elixers. We're going to get close and personal, it appears.

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Thursday, April 09, 2009

I understand it even less

Last night, Joseph and I went to the Lowell Devils hockey game at the Tsongas Arena in Lowell. It's the feeder team for the New Jersey Devils. They were playing the Providence Bruins, which is the feeder team for the Boston Bruins.

Me? I'm a Pittsburg fan, in truth, but when I'm home, I cheer for the Boston Bruins. Get the picture? So anyway... I decided the jury was out on who I was rooting for since the Devils aren't my fave, and they're local but the Bruins are home, but these guys were not. What to do what to do what to do... So I thought I'd wait and see what happens.

The Devils played... Not so well. They fell back in the first period. Then the Zamboni's came out during the break. I am a HUGE Zamboni fan. Huge. In fact, I'd swear that I'd told Joseph this before but he listens and pretends it's the first time I ever told him. Every time I tell him. He's so sweet.
Me: I love Zamboni's.

Joseph: Really?

Me: Yah. I have a Zamboni hat.

Joseph: I know.

Me: I have a Zamboni T-shirt.

Joseph: Really?

Me: Yah.

Joseph: I've never seen it.

Me: Oh, that's because I don't wear it.

Joseph: Why not?

Me: It's in a special place with my special shirts. I don't want it to get ruined.

Joseph: I see.

[Pause]

Me: they have a website, you know.

Joseph: Really? I didn't know that.

Me: Yah.

[Pause. The Zamboni's go round and round.]

Me: I'm thinking about getting one.

Joseph: What?

Me: I'm thinking about getting a Zamboni. A little one.

Joseph: Ah. How little? Matchbox?

Me: No. Bigger. All the parts move.

Joseph: [nods his head watching the Zamboni go round and round.]

Me: I even know how they work.

[Pause]

Me: I'd really like to ride one.

Joseph: You've said that.

Me: Hmmm. I wonder how you get to ride one. It's my dream, you know.

Joseph: Yes, you've said that.

Me: Probably have to give something like $10,000 to a charity or something.
Second Period starts.
Bruins get more scores and lead the Devils.

Sigh...

Then 3 minutes on the board and two security guys come down. Huh? Something about an on ice official saying someone threw something on the ice and blah blah blah. I didn't throw anything.

Now this had happened at the Fleet Center and the Security guys there had wanted to question us. So I thought, "this is simple. We'll go up to the concourse and we'll chat and then we'll be back. And if I'm lucky no one would have scored."

But, he says the "Now we have to go to the office."

The OFFICE? What the HELL are you TALKING ABOUT??? There's only THREE MINUTES IN THE PERIOD and YOU want ME to go to the OFFICE???

Fine.
Whatever.
I turn to Joseph: Did YOU throw something????

Joseph: I didn't throw anything. You were right there!!!

Me: SOME times you do things and I don't see you doing them.

Joseph: [blink blink blink]

Me: Just checking. [I am HIGHLY annoyed but then I am starting to get worried.]
WAH! I'm going to go to Jail!

We get into an elevator.
GAH!!!
Down we go. Into the BOWELS!!
I am in SO MUCH TROUBLE!!! WAH!!!
I should have thrown something. Sheesh.
Just to make it my while!
And I SO want to tell Joseph that the Blue Security Guy looked really MEAN. But I was afraid if I said that, it would get worse. So I kept my mouth shut. But it was HARD to do that. Very Hard.

And then we get off the elevator and we're in a concrete room next to the ice.

Uhhhh.
I think I'm gonna cry.
What is this?

So, this guy comes up. One that Joseph had earlier told me was asisstant manager or something. And I'm thinking, not only is this BAD, but this is also EMBARRASING!

Anyhoo, turns out it was a joke.

A JOKE!!!!!!!!!!!!

Instead, I was going to go for a ride.

On a Zamboni!
A ZAMBONI RIDE!!!!!!!!!!!

A ZAMBONI!!!!!!!!!!!

So, up I go into the seat.
I get some instructions and an overview of the Zamboni I'll be riding.
I strap myself in and off we go!!!

WHHHEEEEEEE!!!!

We go round and round.
I smile and wave.
No beauty queen wave for me.
Nope.
It's more of a I AM ON THE ZAMBONI AND I AM SO EXCITED I AM GONNA PEE wave!
We are in the middle of the ice.
I sit on top.
Watching the Zamboni work it's magic.
Around and around.

It shaves off the top of the ice.
It shoots the ice up through a shoot and into the front collection bucket.
It's a BIG bucket.
It let's out hot water.
Then it smooths the new ice.

OMG!!!!!!!!!

I look up and wave to Joseph.
I wave to the people in one of the boxes that we know.
I wave and wave.
I am so happy.

In the middle of the ice, I want to freeze time.
I want to run around and lay on the ice in the middle of the arena.
I want to have it be like that forever.

And then it was over.

Back to the Zamboni Garage.
I get to pull the lever that dumps the ice into a drain.
We go around and look at all the ice it's collected.
I get to see the batteries. Two really big batteries that run the Magical Zamboni!
Then we get a picture of the Zamboni driver and me standing in front of it.

And he gives me a mini stuffed Zamboni as a souvenir.
It's on our mantel.
A special place!

Afterward, a random guy came up and wished us a happy anniversary. He had seen me on the Zamboni and the announcer had announced my name and that we were celebrating out anniversary. So nice!

Well, if there was ANY doubt before, there was none now. The Tsongas Area is tops and the Lowell Devils are my fave!!

Yup.
Yup yup yup!

I went for a dream ride. It was on my list of "Things I wish I could do before I die but probably never will." I never thought I would do this. Never. I wonder if Joseph can arrange a ride in a space shuttle for me!! He always has this ability to arrange these seemingly impossible things.

On the way home, I told Joseph: "You know, when I see people on the Zamboni, they're just sitting there. Dull. Boring. It doesn't look special. I never understood that. And now that I've been on one myself, I understand it even less."

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A present for Mommy

So, we're in bed going to sleep the other night, all tucked in and settling in.

And all is normal in the house.

The dog shaking.
The TV lights blinking.
Henry Cat hissing in the hallway at Boris.
The tinkling of the bell in Boris Kitty's ball.

Then quiet.

Rustling.
What is that??

Then quiet.

Then POP comes Boris's head over Daddy. We look up and ...

"What do you have in your mouth???"

GOOD GRIEF!!

It's the baggie of cooked bacon I had tucked way back on the counter!!
He's been climbing the counters!
AGAIN!

This is not good.
He's starting to bring us presents.
IN BED!

I can't wait for the day he brings us a RODENT!
GAH!!!

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Random Thought: Buttock Embroidery

Why anyone would ever wear blue jeans with very large embroidery across their entire buttock region is beyond me.

Especially when they have a flat buttock.

For that matter, with any kindabuttock.

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Wednesday, April 08, 2009

The Great White Kitty

So, I'm at home making bread the other day and as I always do when I am making multiple loaves, I leave everything on the counter until I am done for the day.

This time I was making two loaves. While I was waiting for the first load to rise, I left the kitchen and did "stuff"around the house, and then came back to check the progress. And I noticed white stuff on the floor in the foyer. I didn't think much of it. It registered that it was odd to fine white stuff on the floor but my brain thinks and the rest of me does other things and the connections are not usually made at the moment, and rarely do things register that quickly.

Then I walked into the kitchen. And right under the counter where I make the bread was a pile of flour.

What happened? Hmmm. Then I realized. Boris! And then I noticed the paw prints. Down the front of the cabinet leading from the kitchen to the butler's hallway and pantry and into the hall and into the foyer!

BORISSSSS!!!!

And of course THIS cat comes when you call him. And here he comes. Doo-dee-doo-dee-dooo... And PLOP, right into the pile of flour.

ARG!!!!!!!!!

White Kitty.
Big White Kitty.
Bad Big White Kitty.

Wreaking havoc all over the place!

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Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Taper has officially started

Today was my last session with Scary Trainer before the marathon. Afterwards, I will take another full week off. That's three whole weeks.

We said good bye after tonight's session and it felt kinda wierd - my being around, not traveling, but not training with him.

Well, I'll see him next week when I go by the gym for my massage with Chris.

I might even bake him another loaf of bread.

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I was supposed to be here

On a usual day, Joseph picks me up from work on the way home. But today, Scary Trainer wanted to meet at 6 instead of 7 and I said ok. But it meant that Joseph may not be able to leave work early to pick me up and drive me home.

No matter. It was supposed to be that way.

So, at 4:30, without the usual delay, I packed up and left work and took the subway home. No delay? I guess I was supposed to.

The Red Line train came immediately. When it's usually a wait? I guess it was supposed to.

And then I changed as usual to the Green Line, which I had gotten an email warning about earlier that it was running behind due to Police Action at this station. But it got there in about 5 minutes, when it should have. But it did!

And I got a seat. Happy happy! And I thought it was just luck!

But then the truth happened. At Arlington, a little old Chinese man got on with two plastic bags. Every seat was taken. No one budged. So I got up and gave him my seat. He was very happy.

At St Mary's, several stops later, someone got out of her seat to get off and offered her seat to an older man. He refused it. So I got to sit.

So, I was supposed to be there.
Everything happened just like it was supposed to.
So that I could give up my seat to a little old man.
And there was proof of a silver lining when I got to sit down later.

And I got to my stop at Coolidge Corner.
No delays!

Everyday miracles.
We just need to do what we're supposed to.

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The Giant Kitty

So, yesterday I took Boris Kitty to the cat hospital for his last blood work up.

The first thing Dr. Kaplan said as he pulled Boris out of the carrier was "oh my, he's grown."

Uh... We only saw you a month ago. He's grown? ????
Doctor: Yes. My. He's a big one. He's very long.

Me: Do you think so?

Doctor: Yes.

[Pause]

Doctor: He has all his teeth now.

Me: That's good.

Doctor: Hmmm. He was just over 7 pounds a week ago. Hmmm. Now he's 9 pounds. Hmmmm.

Me: Hmmm?

Doctor: They gain a pound a month. He'll grow for 12 months. And he gained a pound and a half in the last month.

Me: He has 6 months of growing to do? ????

Doctor: Hmmmmm. Well... he probably won't grow to TWICE his current size.

Me: TWICE? He's already bigger than my other cat.

Doctor: Probably won't. At least he's not fat. He's just BIG. And LONG.

Me: PROBABLY?

Doctor: Hmmmmmm

Me: Hmph.
So I have the world's biggest 6 month old baby kitty. He is huge. He is bigger than my full grown cat. But he is still a kitten in his brain.

Do you know what havoc a giant overgrown baby can wreak to your envionment??? Yah.

And when he meows, a little baby meow comes out of that big body of his. I mean, So Cute!!!

He sleeps all day. They grow when they sleep. All babies do.

He whirls around the house like the devil was on his tail. Then he DROPS. I keep waking him up so he doesn't grow so much. The other night, I woke him up and he sat up. He fell asleep sitting up!

As you can see, my plot isn't working so well.

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Monday, April 06, 2009

3 more weeks til Boston

So, the big thing this post week on top of my sinus infection is that I broke out in hives from stress.

Too much work, too many bosses, too many social obligations, and my body's reinforcements have taken over and is not letting go. It's not like I have a lot of time to begin with, what with all the training and weekend errands and Chinese class (which I will note I have NOT studied for...) So to get another SINGLE THING IN, I have to gerry rig my entire schedule for the week before, the week after and the week during and life sort of hangs on the precipice. And this time, life sort of just went over the cliff.

So this past week looked like this:

Monday 3/30- Walk 30 minutes in the morning. Scary Trainer in the evening. Still sinus-y. Ran on the dreadmill about 20 minutes. Nothing exciting. Lifted in the evening.

Tuesday 3/31 - Run 30 miles in the morning. Scary Trainer in the in the morning. Early morning meeting. Had time for ONE STUPID MILE!!! ARG!!! Lifted in the evening.

Wednesday 4/1 - Run 6 miles in the morning. Ran 6.14 miles in the morning. Sinus medication seems to be kicking in. Woke up with HIVES!

Thursday 4/2 - Run 3 in the morning. Woke up with WORSE HIVES! Sigh... managed 3.53 miles. Going to the doctor.

Friday 4/3 - Walk 30 minutes in the morning. Scary Trainer sometime during the day. Feeling a little better. There is nothing like know what is wrong with you, even if it is not the best of news. Managed 6.19 miles in the morning, lifted in the afternoon. My good friend Cher came in for an unexpected visit from Ohio. Long story, not enough time for this one. But it's a good one!

Saturday 4/4 - 21 miles again. I will go from the start to mile 21 and see what happens. Since Cher was around, and due to the hives thing, decided to run a short 5 miler. Turned out to be 6.07 miles. Unbelievable. So much for easy. Did fun stuff with Cher in the afternoon, though. Happy happy! I will run my long run tomorrow.

Sunday 4/5 - 6 miles - easy loop. Ended up running 19.30 miles from mile 7. Cher dropped us off before heading out to see Debbie in New Hampshire. Let me just say that this was one of the worst long runs I have ever had. Everything hurt. EVERYTHING! If someone told me that Race Day was going to be a duplication of this day, I would stay in bed. Seriously. But it's in the books. I will say that it was a pretty fast run. But then we had a tail wind. Whatever.

Next week is first week of taper:

Monday 4/6- Walk 30 minutes in the morning. Scary Trainer in the evening.
Tuesday 4/7 - Run 3.5 miles in the morning. Scary Trainer in the in the morning.
Wednesday 4/8 - Run 6 miles in the morning. Go to see the Lowell Devils in the evening. Yeah!
Thursday 4/9 - Run 3.5 miles in the morning. Scary Trainer in the evening.
Friday 4/10 - Run 2 miles in the morning. Going to NYC for the weekend. I SO NEED THIS TIME AWAY!
Saturday 4/11 - 10 miles in the morning.
Sunday 4/12 - 4 miles in the morning.

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Wednesday, April 01, 2009

stress

I am so stressed out from too much work and too much social activities that I have broken out in hives.
This is bad.
Very bad.

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