Friday, March 30, 2012

Faster than a speeding bullet

Weekend, baby!  I'm a flyin' around today, so we're gonna do a quick bullet style update.  Savvy?  Savvy.

* Thanks for your comments and emails on the lotto post.  We're up to 23 in our pool and it looks like the jackpot will top $650 million.  Everyone at work was talking about their dreams and ambitions for the dough...ohh the anticipation!  Such great fun to suspend reality for a bit :-)  Go buy a ticket...you know you want to.
* And just in case you win...think about donating some of the funds to a great cause.  My fellow triathlete Kelly is promoting the Rev 3 Run across America to benefit the Ulman Cancer fund...a 3080 mile trek in 21 days.  Wow.  Go Rev3, way to give back to the sport!
* If you have a few dollars left over from your winnings after your dreams and philanthropy, how bout throwing me and the hubster a new car?  I kid, I kid.  We're out to start test driving tomorrow....looking for an SUV "family" kinda car (and just because I'll get the comments, no, my uterus is not currently being rented...but it doesn't hurt to plan for the future!)
Right now we're between this guy: (Nissan Rogue)

Source

And this guy: (Chevy Equniox)

Source
More thoughts tomorrow...I'm sure we'll change our minds a zillion times! Anyone have any preliminary thoughts?
* I'm done hitting you up for money.  I swear. But if you're not out and about tonight, remember to watch the Sabres game tonight....it's crunch time....5 games left, and in 8th place...will the boys make the playoffs?  If Ennis, Vanek and Miller have anything to do with it, they will!  Time to do the Sabres dance!
* One last thing...yours truly got a freelance writing job as an Examiner on Examiner.com...apparently my blog doesn't suck too much (haha)  I am a health and fitness examiner for Rochester NY....stay tuned for new articles!  (cause you all know you can't get enough, right?  bwahahaha)

Signing off....have a wonderful weekend, kiddos, and hopefully we'll have a new millionaire in our midst tomorrow (pick me pick me pick me)

Thursday, March 29, 2012

I wanna be a millionaire so effin bad....

Good Morning! Yesterday's sunshine has given way to rainy, cold weather with a chance of snow accumulation tonight.  heh.  Good thing I'm a fan of change....I'll put away my capris for a few weeks!
So.  Let's talk about luck.  I've joked with the hubster that I'm never operating appliances on a Sunday again.
Sunday in November:  Stove breaks.  It involves a story of an 800 degree oven that wouldn't shut off...yeah, it was super fun.
Sunday in December.  Garbage disposal breaks.  It got fixed, but involved the hubster under the sink for two hours, swearing at me.  Awesome.
Sunday in February.  Dryer breaks.  Dammit.  Luckily, we got a new drayer in less than a week. Score.
Sunday (2 weeks later) in March.  Washer Breaks.  WTF. (We suspect it missed the dryer and they had a lil somethin' somethin' goin' on)
Luckily, our awesome new neighbor bought a new washer with the NYS rebate incentive, and is giving us his old one to tide us over until we buy a new one.  Score!  We go pick it up tonight....I am so thankful. 
And today ( cause I think it was trying to throw off our Sunday cycle) the power steering in the hubster's car blew.  dammit.  Guess who's probably going new car shopping soon?
Note to the higher being....
The bank of Glaser does not have unlimited funds! :-P
Or does it?  Unless you live under a rock, you know that the Mega Millions jackpot is up to $500 million dollars tomorrow night...record breaking.  Now, I never play the lottery, save scratch offs (cause they're fun!) but I'm in a pool with about 15 other people from work for tomorrow night.
Imagine if we won.....
Source
Payout if we win by ourselves-about $350 million.
Lump sum payment:  $250 million
Post taxes:  $150 million (I'm guessing here!)
Payout:  $10 million each.
Now, I realize that I could make a go of it on my own, a la "It Could Happen to You", but I think it's much more fun this way :-)
10 million dollars.  Woah.  I hate to dream big, but this is too much fun!
With 10 million dollars I would....
Share some of the wealth with family.  Of course. 
Quit my job (I'm no hero).
Buy a beautiful new house, as well as a vacation home at the place of my choosing.
Investing.  At least half of it-right to investments.  I'm not blowing this.
After all that, I would play :-)  Buy a brand new bike, do all the races I want to (hello destination marathon and triathlons!), go shopping!  Sweet.
Find something that I enjoy doing and volunteer my time.
And I'm sure I could think of so many more!!
All you need is a dollar and a dream....
I got 15 bucks.
And a few dreams.
Who knows? :-)
What would you do with a gazillion dollars?  Any ideas?  I'm perfectly happy with the status quo, but it's fun to dream!


Wednesday, March 28, 2012

I think we need space.

Okay, I'm finally ready to admit it.
I need a break.
Some space.
The freedom to not be tied down.
It's not that I'm not in love....
I'm just not feeling the spark anymore.
Yes, running, I think we need to take some time apart. 
 You see, I'm just not that into you right now.  I've been trying to feel it....the rush of adrenaline that comes with a successful run or the end of a race.....climbing the hills and seeing the wonderful descent on the other side....admiring the beauty of a rainstorm sduring a run...or a sunny day....
But I'm not.  I'm grumbling about the wind.  My aching calf.  How many miles are left.  And while sometimes I have to ease into our dates, I'm not going home satisfied.  And for the first time ever today....I called for a bailout on our date :-(  12 miles planned...and I  had a girlfriend sneak me out in a getaway car at mile 9.  Lame.  Why?  My calf.  The wind.  My blistered soles of my feet (which are a b&^tch to run in!)
Nah.....those are just excuses.  The real reason?
I need some time.  Let's try a week, okay?  I'll postpone my planned race this weekend...and do some non race related exercise.  I love you too much to screw up our 2012 season. 
And I may visit my mountain bike, the pool, or take a kickboxing class....but I'm not cheating on you, I promise.  Those are just friends.
Space does not mean I will be intimate with any other sports, running.  Don't listen to Dirk-I love you best.
Let's talk again next week, okay?
I predict we really are meant to be together.
I just need to figure that one out myself.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Walk with me

And the week goes on...and the week goes on  (lame attempt for some culture here).  How's your Tuesday going?  It's been a rush rush rush for me today-my boss is in town (he lives in Albany) so when he comes to town, I get to play super girl.  No complaints-it makes the day go by faster.  My only beef?  I forgot my lunch in the fridge at home = energy bar, peanut butter and leftover carrots for lunch.  Lame.
Regardless, I got in a semi-decent workout during lunch.  Kinda.  I had speed work on the dock but dropped down to "elliptical speed work" for 3 reasons:
1.  My outer calf continues to plague me.  That's the reason that makes me look smart.
2.  I'm running long tomorrow (I hope).  That's the reason that makes me sound like a well-rounded triathlete.
3.  Along with my lunch, I forgot my sneakers at home.  Lame.  I think we all know that's the real reason....and since I haven't achieved barefoot running status yet, I futzed it.  I bet my calf will thank my tomorrow, anyways, so we'll call it an added bonus :-)

The Ironman power walk/eat....don't judge, it was mile 127!
 Let's talk about running a bit more, shall we?  Since I've been racing/running/triathlon-ing for six years now, I get quite a few questions from new runners and triathletes breaking into the sport.  (Which highly amuses me-I don't consider myself an expert, but I am super happy to help!)
So...you wanna run.  Long.  As in, you've done some 5 and 10k's, but wanna do a half or full marathon.  Sweet!  I'm a big fan of distances.  Always have been.  And it seems this year is the big jump for alot of people I know-I've put together beginner plans for four different people for half marathons this year (again, not an expert-just spreadin' around what I've picked up!)  I usually give newbies 3 runs per week, along with a few days of cross training-I've found that it preps you for the distance without any overuse injuries, in most cases.  I always ask someone what their current fitness is in terms of a 5 mile test-what is your comfortable 5 mile time?  With that information, we can build a plan, working with your schedule, strengths, and goals.  It's not rocket science.
But.  This.
What never fails to amuse me is the misconception that in order to race a successful half-you must run the whole thing.  Now, don't shake your head at me. 
All 4 people I am working with said the exact same thing, and I'm trying to get them to at least look at it another way, but we'll see how that works out (laughing).
Am I an idiot?  I hope not.  Let's say your goal is to run a 10 minute paced mile in the half-which is roughly a 2:10 half (assuming you run the tangents-ALWAYS run the tangents, Rae!) Well, you can do that by running a 10 minute mile every mile, sure.  But I bet you fifty bucks you won't.  I bet you'll go out guns blazing, determined not to walk, then crash and burn at about mile 8. 
How bout trying something different.....during a training run, do a 9:1 ratio of run/walk.  Yep, run comfortably for 9 minutes, then walk for a minute.  This trains you to walk through water stations during a race, which are usually located every mile.  Do you have to walk through every one?  Nope.  How about doing a 2 mile run/1 minute walk?  This way you can stretch out, hydrate, and take a breather.  That means you can run just a bit faster (about a 9:40 mile) and still meet your goal, with 6 walk breaks.  It makes it easier mentally-you know you'll get a break, and physically, too.
Again, this is just my experience.  But your finish time is the same, whether you run the whole thing at a 10 minute mile or use the run/walk strategy.
Personally?  My half PR is a 1:50:09 (8:18 pace).  I walked 4 times during the race.  Would I change it at all?  Well, I'd knock off 10 seconds of one walk so I could go sub 1:50, but hey, without those 10 seconds of walk, I might have paid for it later, so who knows?
But again, I'm no expert. Just been around the (half marathon) block a dozen times :-)
Do you run/walk?  Or straight through run?  Which one benefits you more?

Monday, March 26, 2012

Running Uphill: HIM training (weeks 1 and 2)

Happy Monday, webbies!  How was everyone's weekend?  We finally met the new neighbor....a nice guy who relocated from California to be closer to his family in New York.  I think he appreciated the cupcakes...at least, I didn't get them thrown back in my face. Score :-).  We spent a little bit getting to know each other, and I think he's gonna fit in just fine in the 'hood.  As soon as he saw the hubster and I, he goes "Oh, so you're the runners and the triathletes, huh?" Word travels fast :-P  I promised him we were pretty normal.  Yeah, I lied.  First impressions and all, ya know? pssshhh.
Moving on.  Aside from a broken washer (yup, that's two appliances in less than a month) and some lower leg pain, along with the stupid sinus infection I can't shake, the weekend was just ducky.
And I finished week 2 of my Half and Half training (HIM and half marathon!)  And since I know you are all just dying to know the intimate details of my training life, I thought I'd do a weekly run down of the good, bad and ugly over the next 16 weeks.  (Yeah, you got me.  I just want to have a place to ruminate.  But really, isn't that true of all of us bloggers?)
One step at a time.

Here's week #1:
Swim yardage:  4000 (3 swims)
Bike miles:  70 miles (3 rides)
Run miles:  12 (2 runs-1 being a race)
Strength:  90 minutes (2 full body workouts, one just core)

Week high:  my bike test.  If I can get over myself and back in the aero bars, I'm gonna kick this HIM's butt.
Week low:  Johnny's.  Ugh.  Too sick.  Too slow (for me).  Couldn't breathe.  Poop. 

Week #2:
Swim yardage:  5100 (2 swims)
Bike Miles:  73 ( 3 rides)
Run miles:  16 ( 3 runs)
Strength:  1 PT session (comp!), 1 full body, one core (2 hours)

Week high:  The personal training session.  Rob at the DFC found upper body muscles I forgot existed.  Hurt so good.
Week low: Yesterday's 8 mile run.  Let me 'splain.

It was misting.  And about 50 degrees.  In my opinion, perfect long run stuff.  I slept well, was ready to go, and albeit a lingering pain on the  outside of my right calf (does anyone know what the eff this is?  It's driving me bonkers!), I was ready to go.  New play list, new route, let's rock it!
Use your imagination-I don't do pictures on runs :-)
Hmm, not so much.  Maybe the secret to a successful long run is not wanting to go in the first place? Who knows.  About 2 miles in, I just didn't wanna anymore.  My leg hurt.  (Okay, really on a scale of 1-10 it was a 4...I would stop if it was bad.  promise.)  My nose was stuffy (I did get good at blowing rockets).  My music wasn't cutting the mustard.  And I was having issues with hills.
Okay, time out.  I live in the damn country.  Hills are what I know.  And I was having issues with baby hills, not even the good ones. Lame.  At the halfway point, I took a quick walk break (more on this later)and reassessed.  If I turned left,I could cut it short.  If I kept going straight, I would get my 8.  I wasn't having fun. I didn't want to run anymore.  But...as you all know me by now...I trucked on. Something about HTFU or some other such sadistic thought, I guess.
Then...I saw this guy.  Holy mother.  I haven't run this course in a long long time, and I forgot about this hill.  It's about a half mile long...gradual incline for the first half, then probably about a 12% grade for the second.  My heart sank.  I immediately thought....no one can run up this thing.  And I feel like crap.
Now I know what you're thinking.  I felt defeated then I tapped into my inner Ironman and conquered that b*tch.
Not so much.
I ran for a few minutes, then walked for 30 seconds, then ran to the most ridiculous part, and power walked up the rest.
And it sucked.
But I got over it, and on with my run. And I finished.  Maybe not as fast as I liked, but I'll chalk it up to a $hit run.
Next time, I'll know better when plotting out my run course.
And I'll run that sucker again.
And again and again.
Until I can run the whole half mile.
Because, really, it's not all rainbows and sunshine when it comes to training. Sometimes, it just plain sucks.  And you gotta pull on your big girl (or boy) panties and get your butt through that run.  Ya feel me?  Overcoming resistance. I know it's gonna make me stronger at mile 10 of Musselman :-D

Goal for week #3....not have my low point be my run.  Heh.  And to get in 3 full body strength sessions, core included.
Keep me accountable, people!  What's your workout or life goal this week?



Saturday, March 24, 2012

Winning Friends with Fruitcake

So....we got new neighbors.  Our security guard/weekend watcher/king of the neighborhood Vinnie and the fam moved along to Victor to accommodate their expanded family and left us.  Boo.  But then again, we're not the new kid on the block anymore, so the hubster and I have been playing the Kravitz's all week to catch a glimpse of these new guys....
"Rae, get away from the window".
"Aww...Greeeeggggg...I think I saw the garage move on it's own!"
Kidding.  He's been worse than I have.  I swear.
After a few days of this, with the weekend approaching, I decided it was time to greet the neighbors....with a fruitcake.
Unlike an 80 year old woman, I made it taste good :-)

In the Tropics (cup)cakes!
One Box Pineapple cake mix
one large egg
greek yogurt, plain
1 tsp.coconut extract
1 cup crushed pineapple
Powdered sugar, for dusting 

Mix all ingredients except the powdered sugar in a large mixing bowl.  Do NOT add oil, water, or anything else...trust me, the 'cakes won't need it :-)  Spray a 12 cup Muffin pan with cooking spray, fill each cup 2/3 full.  Bake at 350 for 20 minutes or until tops are lightly brown (you can test the cake for doneness by sticking the tip of a clean knife through, if it comes out without any batter on it, it's a done 'cake!)
 Let the cupcakes cool for about 10 minutes, then pop em out of the pan and onto a wire rack for at least an hour.  Dust with powdered sugar. 
Yummy.  I actually had enough batter leftover to make an additional cupcake...so, ya know, we could make sure they were "okay to serve".  I thought they were.  The hubster disagreed and strongly suggested I leave the remaining 12 with him.
I won.
How else am I supposed to spy on these new neighbors if I don't ply 'em up with baked goods first?
I hope they're our age.
And runners.
Or triathletes.
But not faster than me.
And they let us use their hot tub.
And like dogs and cats.
And work in the city...so ya know, maybe we can commute.
The hubster says my expectations are too high.
Ehhh....I like to shoot high :-)

At least I didn't serve fruitcake.  (Oh, FYI, if you're into those things, each cake has 150 calories and is 4 WW points.)

Enjoy!


Friday, March 23, 2012

The proletariat

Back in the day, it was simple.  Bourgeoisie and the Proletariat.  The haves and the have nots.  The Haves-jobs.  land.  money.  houses.  food.  The Have Nots- dependent on the "Haves", often hungry, poor, lacking in housing.
And that's the way it was. 
Is it still that way, or have we changed?
I've been thinking about this for awhile.....today seemed the perfect day to talk about it, with the new Hunger Games movie out....a dystopia, to be sure, but to some extent, the epitome of the society with the "haves" (the capitol, district 1 and 2) and the "have nots" (most of the rest of the districts, especially 9, 11 and 12).
Don't worry, I'm not going to talk about history.  Ironically, this has to do with the way I've been feeling about life lately. 
Not great.
Which is strange, because I'm usually your eternal optimist.  But not lately.  I've been finding myself staring at the mirror, not liking what I see.  Looking at my watch after a long run, hating the number.  Tearing my hair out after a stressful day at work.  Sinking onto the couch at 7pm, absolutely spent.  Hating the way I feel. The way I look.  And not having much energy for life or anything else.
Is the grass greener?
What is wrong with me?
Is it envy?  I look at the people around me. There are some who are amazed at the fact that I can bust out a half marathon on a whim and come in at a respectable time.  I easily forget about that.  Instead, I look at the people that I associate with that regularly whoop my butt in running races and tris.  Somehow, your idea of what is "normal" becomes skewed....
But then I remember that the person that I covet in those same races might not have something that I do.  A wonderful partner?  A good job?  The ability to cook? Who knows?  Maybe he or she thinks I have the charmed life.  Funny how you look at things.
And then, lest I forget the person who looks at me and goes, "Wow, I would give anything to do an Ironman.  How do you even DO IT?" And remember that they have something that I wish I had, too...whether it be a brother or sister, a bunch of kids, or a sense of fashion (hey now, don't make fun of me.  I've been a tomboy my whole life!)
And thus, the cycle repeats itself. 
The grass is always greener.  But how do we manage to forget that while we might be envying the green grass, someone else is envying our daffodils?
Good question.
And I'm working on it.

District 11...#winning.
 I'm also willing to bet that the bourgeoisie might have secretly coveted the proletariat somewhat.  I mean, really, do you suppose the teenage girls at the Capitol had not one, but two hot guys chasing after them?  Nah, I bet not.  In all seriousness though, I bet they envied the love that those families had...the sharing....the individual strength.
And somehow, this all traces back to my favorite saying...."It's not having what you want, it's wanting what you've got."
Deep breath.  Time to get back to wanting what I've got.
Glad I got that off my chest....thanks for listening.  And have a wonderful weekend...with the life you've got.  Look around you....what are you grateful for that somehow, amidst the bustle of life, you've taken for granted or forgotten about?
Take a minute.  Remember how much you really do have.  And then go out and kick some butt to grab onto the next brass ring!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

You're fulla turkey

Well, now, it's good to know that I've got the female population busy working on their top 5.  I'm also glad to know that my father in law reads my blog so avidly and asked me last night if the hubster reminded me of Gary Sinise at all.  Face palm.  Good thing I have no sense of shame, huh :-)
Still, just to be safe, let's talk about something a little safer today.  But not bland. no, we don't do bland here...especially when it comes to food!
Now that summer spring has arrived, it's time for some warm weather recipes!  With the sunshine and gorgeous weather, the hubster and I were jonesing for some picnic fare last night-specifically, burgers. 
Problem #1:  We had no ground beef.
Problem #2: We had no buns (well, the seeded variety).
Would I let something like that stand in my way?  Naahh.  Now, the hubster and I enjoy a good turkey burger when we go out to eat, but I've never really made them. And lo and behold, there was a perfectly good package of lean ground turkey in the freezer.  Okay,I can work with that!

You're fulla Turkey Burgers
(makes 4 regular sized burgers)
1 pound lean ground turkey
1 egg
1/2 cup oats (regular or instant)
 1 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. chili powder (for kick!)



Defrost the turkey (if needed).  Mix all ingredients in a medium sized bowl.  Separate into 4 regular sized balls, flatten into patties.  Place patties on a plate and set in the fridge to meld for at least 30 minutes (the oats take a bit to bind).  Super simple so far, yes? 
Cooking is a two step process:  Spritz a frying pan with spray and load on two burgers.  Cook each side for about 2 minutes so brown the outside of the burgers.  Set all 4 burgers on a baking sheet and bake at 350 for 15 minutes, or until cooked through.  (I suffered a casualty with one burger in the frying pan, so I created two minis-no biggie.

Serve 'em up in a wrap with lettuce and tomato-Ruby Tuesday style alongside some homemade french fries and pickles! (Knife added for culinary effect.  This is what I call the turkey burger, "hubster style".

Or....take your mini burgers (cause you MEANT to do that) and serve em up alongside veggies and butternut squash fries...of course, I get pickles, too!

That's me style.
Either way-delicious.  If I do say so myself.
Note-You can grill these babies up on the grill, but I opted to cook inside because...well, I'm scared of the grill (hangs head).  I'm working on it, guys....-cue traumatic propane memory from 1999-.  
Ever tried a turkey burger? 
Had a burger with a turkey?
   Hardee har har har.


Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Do you have Five?

No, no, not five minutes.  But if you do, please read on...it won't take longer than that.  Double promise :-)  So, I was on my way to work this morning, windows down, contemplating in all seriousness if people would miss me if I stuck a life sized doll behind my desk and spent the day in my bathing suit and a trashy magazine out on the deck, sipping an adult beverage.  Thoughts on this?  Yeah, I thought they might too.  So, on I went.
As I drove in, I was listening to the Elvis Durand morning show on KISS, and they were interviewing Liam Hemsworth, who is one of the hotties starring in the Hunger Games movie (which comes out tomorrow night-are you going to see it?)  Anywhos, Elvis was talking about his hot self (Liam's) and how we wished that he had a guy that hot naked in his room (gotta love this stuff at 8am, right?)  Well, it made me realize that #1.  I need to go see this movie.  And #2....will it change my "5"?
What's the big 5, you ask?  Well, if you watched Friends....you know.  Remember, the one where Ross and Rachel agree on the five freebie celebrities that they can....smooch....if they ever get a chance?  (Or, maybe more...but hey, trying to keep this a family blog!)  Well, of course, that episode spurred a full movement of the Big Five discussion among the ladies and even resulted in a tumblr feed dedicated to sharing "your 5".

Source

So, what are the rules of the five game?  Well, from what I know...

They all need to be celebrities. No fair putting the hot runner friend you have on the list, or your best friend's ex boyfriend.  These guys do not count because, let's face it. The likelihood of you gettin' lucky is way too high.  Celebrities, people. 
Your five can change at any time, but if you meet someone that was "on the cusp" of the list but is not on the list and is willing to smooch you, sorry Charlie, it's a no go. The only way you get a free pass is if they are currently ON the list. I would advise against laminating the list, as Ross does.  It's way too permanent.
The agreement, is, of course, completely theoretical and contingent on the fact that you will never ever meet these people.  I pretty much know that, but it's fun to dream :-)
So, who are my five?  Well, here goes.....
1.  Joshua Jackson.  From Mighty Duck to Pacey to Peter on Fringe, this guy has been around since I was a kid.  Adorable then, hot now.
2.  Ryan Reynolds  Um, HELLO.  He might have been a total D-Bag in Waiting and Van Wilder.... and never have produced a film actually worth watching, but as far as I'm concerned, he doesn't have to.  Nope, honey, you can just pose for the camera, spank you very much.  Oops, I mean thank you.
3.  Craig Alexander.  Ironman Champion.  Hott.  Nice.  Not an egotistical prick.  Plus, ya know, we can actually swim, bike and run together.  Yeah,I crack myself up.  Maybe he can pull me along in one of those child carriers...or...I can bike alongside him running.  A girl can dream.
4.  Robert Pattinson.  I guess you can figure out which Twilight Team I was on...so dark and mysterious.  Yummy.  Might be robbin' the cradle...but I don't care. 
5. Gary Sinise.  People, yeah, I know.  He's not hot.  And I rue the day I told my husband about this one, because not a commercial goes by for CSI when he doesn't point and laugh.  I hang my head in shame.  But there's something about him that makes me think he would just sling me over his should and have his way with me.  Just kissing, of course.  And that's hot.

Sorry, Liam, you didn't make the cut. Better luck next time :-) Now, If you'll excuse me, I think I'm gonna go cool off with an ice cream or something.  What?  I'm perfectly normal.  At least, according to Friends....
"Ah, the heart of every healthy relationship. Honesty, respect, and sex with celebrities." - Ross

'zactly.  Do you have a "Five" list?  Or am I a crazy pants?  If so, I'll just be crazy.  I don't mind :-)

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Springing into action

Well, according to the calendar, we're into Spring!  Coulda fooled me-I would have told you that that happened a few weeks ago and we're rounding the bend to summer...it's almost 80 out there today!  Not that you're gonna hear me complaining. Nope. Not at all.  Spring means flowers. And sunshine. And running in the rain when it's not as sunshiny.  And skirts.  Ahhh, spring.  I hearts ya.
Well, since I'm kinda short on time today, let's do some bulleted notes for catching up so I can spring into action on my to-do list (clearly, the change of season hasn't made me any funnier or wittier :-P)

*  Speed work does not work when you're sick. I thought I was gonna die on the treadmill today.  4x800 on the treadmill became 3x800...and then a .22 nubbin.  Better than nubbin nuttin.  Also, I would like to give a ginormous thanks to my gym buddy who thanked me for being sick this weekend so he could beat me in the race. Next time, sir, you are toast.  Hah.

* My nephew is doing a school project where he is collecting postcards from all over the state, country and world.  If you want to help, drop a  postcard telling something that you do in your location and what the weather is like. Please mention that you are friend of Wyatt's family!
Mrs. Butrick's Class
Fall River Elementary
1400 Deerwood Drive
Longmont CO 80504
Don't you remember when you were a kid and that stuff was cool?  You can spare a buck for a card and postage.  Be a hero :-)

* Kohl's has awesome 50% off deals on their site right now and shipping is free today and tomorrow.  C'mon, you know you need new sandals and shorts.  I scored both for less than $20 bucks.  Use the code SMS295 for an extra 20% off. You're welcome.

I'm pretty sure a triathlete wrote this!
*  Speaking of good deals, check out this free kindle book.  Who doesn't want to know more about Jackie O.?  She was one hot mama back in the day.

* Did I mention the gorgeous weather??  I'm off for a bike ride until dinner time (because I hear you can blow snot rockets easier when you ride) and I think you should get out to.  Don't have a bike?  Go buy one- ever store has last season's models on sale now....and you know what they say....

Happy Spring :-) 

Monday, March 19, 2012

The Babe with the Power

It seems as if the population of Western New York is split in two.
Those that enjoyed the sunshine over the weekend....got outside, washed their cars, went for bike rides....
And those that spent the majority of the weekend surrounded by tissues, bad movies, and books/magazines/ereaders.
Which camp were you in?'
Clearly, I was in camp #2.  The weekend consisted of saline spray, snot rockets, my kindle, whining, and bad movies.  Aren't you jealous?  Oh there was green involved too.  But it wasn't beer.  We're just gonna leave it at that!
Sinus infections blow, literally.  Amidst my love affair with the Kleenex box, I managed to get through 3 movies and 2 books...not bad for 48 hours.
The books: 
"Unbroken" By Laura Hillenbrand. (Better known for "Seabiscuit")  I randomly picked this book from the NY Times best seller list because it featured the life of a runner-Louie Zamperini.  I'm not usually one for war stories, but this book sucked you right in.  Incredible.  And disturbing.  Hillenbrand goes into extreme detail over the POW experience in Japan during World War Two...it's heartbreaking, but extremely well written.
 "The Pact" by Jodi Picoult.  Somehow I missed this book in my quest for her books a few years ago-once again, a total heart breaker-about love between two young people, how far you are willing to go for love, and the chasm between generations. 
Hmmm....maybe it was my book choices that made the weekend a bit dark?  No worries.  I made up for it with movies.
The Labyrinth-for the millionth time.  David Bowie in tight pants.  Yum.  Just a note....did anyone else notice that when they talk to "Hoggle", both David Bowie and Jennifer Connelly's character refer to him as "Hogwart"?  Early Harry Potter inspiration??  No?  You were too busy staring at David Bowie's pants? Well,I can't say that I blame you.  Moving on....
Arachnophobia.  Oh man.  Did that movie really used to scare me when I was a kid?  And how did I miss that they referenced "triathlon"back in 1991?  Impressive!
Source
Lake Placid. Clearly, I was on a late '80s early '90s kick!  I've been meaning to watch this movie since IMLP floated into my mind a few years back, but had no intention of doing so until I was sure I was done swimming in Mirror Lake.  Yes, I know Mirror Lake is not Lake Placid. I know the movie was not even filmed there. And I know that there is no such thing as ginormous man eating crocodile infestations in upstate New York.  But I do know....that you never say never.  And that Betty White is still kickin'...and completely unpredictable.  And that was good enough for me to wait.  So there.

Phew!  How's that for loafing around for 2 days?  No impressive eats....nothing smells good. Of course, you know that means I'm not starving myself....but who wants to look at canned soup?  Meh. Not me. 
Back in action Monday....I'm about 50% better, which means I took my Bowie-inspiration to the pool for some interval sets....that's right, I'm the babe with the power :-)  Or something like that....my 400 swim test time is 23 seconds slower than in September....that can't be good.  Clearly, long slow swims in the off season make you just that....a slow swimmer.  I gots some work to do in the next 17 weeks...

How was your weekend?  Drink any green? Play in any green?  Win any green?  (I take donations if the latter applies!!)


Saturday, March 17, 2012

The nose knows

Ahhh, we had such a great time running this morning!  Yep, my nose and me :-).  
I kinda knew a PR would be a long shot this morning with my good ole sinus infection, but, hey, you can't win em all, right?  Let's just say it was an interesting race. And I feel bad for anyone behind me cause man, those snot rockets were flying.  Oh, I'm sorry, was that TMI? :-)
Back to the beginning. The day was gorgeous.  2500 of my best friends and I (yep, that's 800 more than last year) trouped out to the War Memorial to kick off racing season 2012.  I was decked out in my RATS gear, with the obligatory green nonsense attached to my head for luck.  Too bad I can't really create magic with those 4 leaf clovers :-)  My legs felt great.  My lungs...not.  My nose...even worse. Hey, who needs to breath when they run?  Pffft. And off we went!
Aside from the expected logjam of 2500 runners going for it (it took about 30 seconds to cross the start and I was toward the front!) I settled into an even rhythm.  Mile 1-7:54.  Mile 2:  15:50.  Sweet.  Then all hell...or snot...broke loose.  The one downside of the nice weather?  No gloves or sleeves!  (Which, if you're a runner, you know what I mean :-P).  I started stopping every 5 minutes or so to blow snot rockets and get some air into my lungs.  Hit the turnaround in 20:32-no way was I getting near my PR (37:36) or even a sub 40, I knew, so I just ran with it (heh.)  Annoying, because my legs were ready to go, but one usually finds it helpful to be able to breathe while running, no?  
I guess I ask for too much :-)  Mile 3-25:15. At this point I hooked up with my friend Kim, who runs about the same pace I do normally, but I couldn't hold her.  I started running for one song (about 4 minutes) then stopping for 20-30 seconds just to breathe (at this point, it was all mouth breathing.  If someone could have cut my nose off,I would have done much better.  lol)  Mile 4- 33:15.  The last mile of this race is pretty much downhill, so I hit over the last "hill" (Ford St Bridge) and aimed to bring it home under 42-which I just barely did-41:51.
Hey, win some, lose some.  I would call running a race on a beautiful 60 degree day winning, wouldn't you?
The hubster thought so.  He bought me some flowers to celebrate the fact that I'm an idiot trooper.
What a keeper!
Time for this party animal to crash and try to get rid of this mess.  I'm such an old lady.  But if I'm old...well, we won't say what the hubster is.  He's been passed out for 2 hours :-)  we're such a crazy couple.
What are you up to tonight?  Any wild parties?  Or is the party in your living room with a green beer instead?







Friday, March 16, 2012

Book review: The Hunger Games

Whew!  Spring has sprung in Western New York, and it figures...I'm a sick guy.  I've been fighting this messy sinus/allergy/cold thing for the last few weeks, and yesterday, it hit big time.  Needless to say, I spent most of the day in bed, eating jello, yogurt and drinking lemon tea...while burning up the battery of my kindle reading "Unbroken" (awesome book) and "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close" (only halfway through-the writing style is messing with me, but I'm working through it!)
I'm somewhat back and alive today, though still a bit under the weather.  Hopefully, I can law low and kick this thing-first run of the year is up tomorrow!  I want some fast running....not snot spewing...racing!
Enough of that gross stuff. Let's talk about books.
Okay....fine fine fine.  JUST for Drew and Alexa-I did it.  I finally finished all 3 books (okay, less than a week after I started book 1.  pfft.)  Which books?  The Hunger Games, of course.  I'm a little behind on the times-the books came out last year, but I had no luck finding them at the library because they were so wildly popular.  But I got lucky enough to get them for my kindle, so I've spend the last week plowing through them.  So addictive.
Let me 'splain.  The trilogy is made up of (no kidding) three books: The Hunger Games, Catching Fire and Mockingjay.  The books follow the life of Katniss Everdeen, a teenage girl who is living in a modern day dystopia comprised of 12 districts and a Hitler/big brother esque regime under "the capitol".  Every year, two people from each distrcit must participate in the "Hunger Games" a fight to the death winner take all between the 24 participants.  Bottom line- weathy people in charge getting enjoyment out of dog fighting, but with people instead.  The socioecomics of the twelve districts are varied, but most of them are severely lacking in food and other resources. 
Book one-who will win the Hunger Games?  (I'll give you a hint.  It's a 3 parter and our heroine is one of the contenders.  Hmmm.).
Book two (Catching Fire) : What happens post Hunger Games?  How will the Capitol react to what happens in the Hunger Games?
Book three (Mockingjay):  How will the districts fare when they go head to head with the Capitol?
Of course, intertwined with all of the struggles in the book is the obligatory love triangle between our heroine and the boy next store (Gale) and the selected counterpart champion from her district (Peeta).  Who will she choose? What will happen?  Will they both survive?


No team Gale or Teem Peeta, please.  Let's move beyond Twilight.
Overall, I would highly recommend these books. They aren't rocket science, and, as usual, the second and third books aren't as good as the first (I have this issue with sequels...although these did very well, they never match up to the original!) but the whole series flowed rather well and was interesting, fast moving, and completely sucks  you in (evidence in the third book, which I stayed up until 3am one night just to finish it!).  I would say it's a good cross between Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter...most definitely better than the Twilight series!
And, of course, the movie comes out in two weeks....so, get reading, people!  (I always think it's better to read the book first, then see how the movie stacks up.)
Two thumbs up!  Get your reading in-and have a great weekend!  If you're in New York, enjoy the beautiful sunshine, it's supposed to be gorgeous out! 
Tomorrow= Johnny's 5 miler.  Are you running?  It's the kick off for Rochester's running season 2012-hopefully this damned sinus infection that I was just diagnosed with doesn't mess with me too bad :-P  I don't feel like I'm in PR shape, but hopefully I can nose in under 40 minutes :-D

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The other Half

Well, hello there!  Good thing today was another sunshiny day, seeing as I spent 4 hours in my car!  Training in Buffalo for work = early start, too much thruway and a long day for me!  Still, can't complain....we got to go out to lunch at Olive Garden on the company dime (sweet!) and I managed to find enough energy to get in a 20 mile tempo ride when I got home.  Sweet!  Which reminds me....I'm sitting at a table with 5 women and two men during this lunch, all social workers from across the state, and we're networking.  We start talking about families and what we do for fun.  So this one woman asks me..."What do you do for fun?"  "Well"  I say, "I'm a runner".  My boss rolls his eyes and goes "She's modest.  She does IRONMANS". And the woman goes "You do what?" So one of the guys tells her what an Ironman is.  And the woman looks at me like I'm nuts and goes....so....you train for a race that's essentially from Rochester to Buffalo and back in terms of miles?".  "Um, yeah".  I reply.  "So"  she says..."What do you do for fun".  Oh man.  Time to lay off the Ironmans, Rae.
 Well, funny you should say that.....
Cause it's half time!
No, not football.
And no, not the Buffalo half marathon (though I did see part of that course today-I smell a PR!  (yes, I'm thinking positive)).  Speaking of which for a sec, my half marathon training is going pretty well...haven't really hit as fast as I want for tempo runs, but I've done well with speed repeats and the long run, which isn't too darn bad for taking the last 5 months as an excuse to be a lazy Reese's eating cat lady :-)
Ahem. Sorry.  The other half.  Yes.  This week marks the beginning of tri training season for me....my 18 week Musselman prep!  Woot woot!  Yes,I know I was going to take the year off.  But when my secret boyfriend Jeff Henderson (crap, I outed myself) sends a free entry my way, what do I do?  I TRAIN.  I lift things up and put them down.  Errr....I swim, bike and run!  Yay!
I'm trying something new this year though.  I am still following my ever faithful trigeek plan (which has served me super well for both the full and half distances) but I am subbing out some of the workouts to suit my own goals.  For the next 9 weeks, I'm subbing out the runs with the runs from the FIRST plan = 3 runs a week (speed, tempo and long).
I'm doing one long ride and one speed and/or tempo ride.  Goal pace = 19 mph.  I averaged almost 18 on my last Ironman, so I think I can I think I can.
And for swims = 2 swims a week-one speed work and drills, one recovery with no lap counting.  Because, really, I'm super type A and I need to give it a rest!
2 full body strength workouts.
And 2 yoga/stretch sessions a week.
Yes,I plan to sleep.  If I do it the right way, none of these workouts (save for the long ride and run, which are done on the weekends) take more than an hour.  I take Mondays off, do 2 a days on Tue-Thur and one on Friday. Weekly volume = 10-15 hours.
Game on, sub 6.  You are so mine. I can taste you!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Bachelor Ben

So.....let's talk about the "B"word for a sec. Balance, I mean (well, first and foremost anyways...haha).  We balance out exercise with rest days....oatmeal with cake.....biographies with romance novels.......and good TV with....The Bachelor.
Bachelor Ben
Why am I dedicating more valuable internets space to this d-bag?  Well, because it consumed 3 hours of mine and the hubster's Monday night (yes, I made him watch the finale with me.  Hopefully Ben and Courtney won't be the only couple headed for splitsville in the next week.)
So, in case you live under a rock actually have interesting things to do on a Monday night, last night was the season finale of the Bachelor.
Lindzi aka Marcia Brady
Seriously!
If you REALLY live under a rock...Bachelor Ben had his pick of 25 women to find "true love"and has been systematically weeding out all the good ones to end up with two final ladies....Marcia Brady and the Wicked Witch of the West (who incidentally likes to take her clothes off for the camera).
Last night, he picked his new bride to be.
It wasn't groovy.
Yup, for the last few months, I've been sucked into this train wreck of a reality show, watching doofus Ben fall in love with the stripping, baby talking, two faced witch.  Blech.
Not that all the girls were amazing....we had a real stripper, a manly personal trainer, a lesbian, and an emotionally unstable blogger representing, yo (no, I did not go on the show.  Greg would have truly killed me then.  But I would have gone...for Andy.  Not this lame-o.
Court the witch
So....we get to the finale. Finally.  Poop for brains voted off my favorite (Kacie B.) back two weeks ago (she was way too good for him anyways) and we are down to the final two:  Marcia and Wicked, we'll call them for short.
Ben invites the women to meet his mom and sister (who looks like a dudebro version of Jillian Michaels on steroids) in order to "get a feel for the women".  I start to hope.  Sis hates Courtney (Wicked here on out) before she even meets her and dubs Linzi (Marcia here on out) as "super fun and relateable".  YAY!  Then....she meets the witch.  Cue crafty TV editing, and it looks like Mom and Sis are onto Wicked.  No such luck....they give Ben the big high five and tell him to go for it.  Awesome.
But wait....our fearless hottie is "Oh so confused" and "Oh, I don't know what to dooooo!" Dude. You've been trying to justify how OMG so wonderful Miss Witch is to everyone for ages....I think it's pretty obvious.  The big engagement day arrives.  Shocking no one (well, except with the dress....homegirl looked like a black ostrich) poor Marica gets the boot and Ben-ster proposes to the witch, who, appropriately enough, looks like Cruella Deville on crack.  (Seriously, who wears elbow length gloves to potentially get ENGAGED?)  It was the most vomit inducing proposal ever (which sucks when you're not feeling that hot to begin with) and post ring acceptance, Miss Thang was way more interested in the bling than her man.  Natch.
It's a good thing the hubster stole my kindle and removed all sharp objects....I only had pillows to throw at the TV. Meh.
Source
If that wasn't enough, we needed an additional HOUR to rehash the "post rose ceremony" to find out what Ben and Courtster have been up to since the final rose.  Shockingly, they broke up because Ben was oh so upset at Courtney's behavior on the show and couldn't understand why none of the women told him really how bad she was.
Face Palm.
Ben, you're a moron.  Everyone told you that.  You broke up with Emily when she did have the guts to tell you!
I finally turned off the damn television at that point, but I hear that he did re-propose, which I'm not sorry in the slightest that I missed.  I might do Ironmans for fun, but I'm no masochist.  Hah.
Someone needs to use the parental controls on my TV to block this crap from now on.  Hubster?
And thank you for reading if you got this far :-) Anyone else watch that mess??




Monday, March 12, 2012

Spring has Sprung!

Yesterday...was not meant for blogging.  Or anything computer related.  It was meant for...opening the windows.  Getting the bikes outside.  Grilling dinner.  Going for a long walk.  Or all of the above :-)
All in all, a red letter day. (Yes, I'm a loser).

The hubster and I got in our workouts, ate some grilled chicken (her), steak (him) and salads (both) and then went out for one of those "happy to be alive" walks.  Apparently, there's a bunch of trails about a mile away from our house that we've never visited, so we set out to make it happen!
 Pretty cool! 
Although, after awhile, we did realize it was really "trailblazing for idiots".....
Kinda hard to lose the road on this trail, huh?
Ahh, well, 5 miles on foot on a sunny 60 degree day is nothing to shake a stick at.
On the way home, we encountered some ray blasting motorcycles....
I got a bit scared, but the hubster devised a fool proof plan. 
"Run for it!" he yelled.
So I did.
And then kicked my shoes off in a fit of joy when we lost 'em.
Seriously, who leaves a shoe in the middle of the road? 
(No, guys, that was not me.  I do have my limits).

How was your spring forward day?  Get outside and enjoy at all?

Saturday, March 10, 2012

The Birds and the Bees

What a gorgeous day!  So what if it was only 25?  It was sunny.  I slept great.  My legs felt good to go.  So I laced up, and ran to Webster (11.5 miles).
It was awesome.  The wind might have been against me, I might have been a lil chilly, but it was a great run...especially when I saw these guys at mile 6....
What the???  Well, it made me laugh, which works for me!
I sailed into Webster in 1:38, good for 7 seconds under my long run pace.  Sweet!
The hubster brought me my clothes (such a good guy) and the car, I showered up, and we headed out for some refueling...and celebrating!  Mama TFB just got a new job, so we headed out to Applebee's to have a congrats-to-ya dins.
The hubster and Dad G.  Yeah, we thought he would class up the meal.  What were we thinking?  (I kid, I kid.)
Then I was threatened with no dessert unless I ate my meal.  Tragic.  Doesn't she know me?
Twist my arm to clean this plate.  Okay, you don't have to.  Chili Lime chicken-AH mazing!

Now it's time for the sabres dance....go sabres, go!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Marinara-thon

Ahhh, Friday.  I love you so much.  Why does it take 4 long workdays to get to you?  Oh well.  C'est la vie.  On tap-a gorgeous weekend!  What do you have planned (besides losing an hour of sleep?  Boo.)  The hubster and I have a family thing tomorrow, then Sunday is full of spring prep...hopefully it really will be 60 and I can air out our house-love opening the windows for the first time each spring!  I know, I'm a wild woman.
Well, with spring upon us (I hope!) it's time to talk about running.  Again.  The whole balance thing, right? :-)  As the weather gets warmer, I get more amped to be outside-sans gloves, ear covers and full length rights-woot!  Kinda helps with that whole motivation thing when you throw on capris, a tee, shoes and GO, rather than layering up!  Perfect running temps= 40 degrees to 70 degrees and both weekend days look to be promising!
I've got a 12 miler on deck tomorrow...which means I should fuel up with some pasta tonight, right?
One small problem.  I'm not a pasta person.  (I know mom, I'm Italian.  I apologize).
So...what to go underneath the homemade marinara?  Spaghetti Squash?  Been there, done that.  It's good.
Anything else?
Why yes-this little gem.  Now, I'm a big hungry girl fan.  Pooh pooh it, go ahead.  I know, it's not always "real food".  But it tastes good.  And most of the recipes are volumetrics friendly and hey...I like to eat.  I'm pretty sure there's no emotional f*ed upness....food tastes good.  Ya with me?  Read on.... 

So Easy Marinara n Slaw
Sauce:
One 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
Chili Pepper
1 tsp minced garlic
2 oz. tomato paste
1 small onion, minced
Dried Parsley (1 tsp)
Dried Oregano (1 tsp.)
Base:
4 cups broccoli slaw
1 serving turkey pepperoni
Topper:
2 tsp Parmesan cheese

Yep, this is one of those-do I really have to write it down? recipes!  Perfect for a weeknight.  For the sauce, combine all and simmer on the stove for 30 minutes.  Add a bit of water to another pan along with the slaw and simmer until tender, about 5-7 minutes.  Plate the slaw, pour on about a cup and a half of sauce (total yield of the sauce is about 3 cups) and sprinkle on the pepperoni.  Add a dash of cheese and go to town!
Perfection.  Half the recipe (shown above)
has a whopping 175 calories.
So I did what any normal human being would do....
I ate it all. 
With a side of fresh out of the oven Italian bread.
 You didn't think I would forget those carbs, did you?  Yum yum yum.
Are you a pasta person?  Or, like me, do you seek out alternatives?  (Just to be clear, I do like rice, potatoes, oats, millet, quinoa and plenty of other grains....just no pisghetti for this girl!)