Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Old School Comfort

Well, it caught me.  I refuse to say that I caught a cold because....well, I was chasing something else (more like a marathon PR!) but the dreaded plague of head stuffs, congestion, and general light headed miserable-ness has descended upon me.  Yuck.  I've been low functioning since Monday morning (hold that snark) and have basically shuffled through the last 48 hours in a daze.  Bless the fact that the insanity of work is nearly behind me (just a few more weeks, and nowhere near as nuts!) and that, with tri season over, my only real workouts are my runs, which are only 3-4x a week.  So I haven't run since Saturday, which is no big deal.  I've been trying to rest, load up on Earl Gray, and...soup.  Not usually a homemade soup kinda girl, but I had a craving for some good ole tomato soup and grilled cheese comfort food, and with 3 large, gorgeous tomatoes sitting on my counter and a pot full of fresh basil....well, Campbell's was sacrilege. So we made soup

Fresh Tomato Basil Soup

3 large tomatoes, diced (4 cups)
1 small onion, diced
2 cups chicken stock
1 tbsp fresh basil, minced
1 tbsp garlic salt
1 tbsp sugar (optional)

Another so easy I feel ridiculous writing it.  Add the onion and tomatoes to the chicken stock, bring to a boil.  Simmer on low for 20 minutes, adding in spices.  If desired (I didn't) let cool and whirl in an immersion blender.  Serves 2, with freshly made grilled cheese on the side.

Enjoyed best on a TV tray, on the couch, while watching the soaps.  Or the Price is Right.  Or the Wonder Years.  And for a split second, you are 8 years old, playing hooky from school, and Mom will be over in a few minutes to bring you some ice cream.  And it's all better :-)

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

The Big EZ

Hello, all!  Welcome to fall.  It's a gorgeous day in New York - bright, sunny and 70 degrees.  Perfect.  I could go on and on about the best season here.....sweaters, bright colors in the leaf changes, perfect running weather, excellent in season food (squash, pumpkin, apples, YUM), Halloween.....and my birthday :-)  What's not to love?  I have a pretty busy and fun fall planned - marathon training....I swear I will chat about this...I'm in week 6 of a 12 week plan right now.  It has it's ups and downs, but we will see what I can accomplish.

But today, I want to go far away.  Last week, I had the opportunity to travel to New Orleans for work - we were presenting at a national conference, and my boss was awesome enough to allow Greg and Rob to come along with me for the cost of the flight and food.  Sweet.  So, last Tuesday, we embarked on a journey...Robs first out of state and on a plane!  For a 5 day trip to NOLA.  It was amazing. .....

 On a plane for the first time - so excited by the windows!!

 Chillin at a layover....first with shades and then flyin his own plane!!

At the hotel....SOMEONE'S gotta get the work done!
Our hotel - Royal Sonesta.  Right on Bourbon St. in the heart of the city!
Fine NOLA cuisine....HAH.  This is a liquid city :-)

Muffaletta at Central Grocery - a NOLA staple.
Cafe Dumond - we feasted on french chicory and beignets.  YUM.
St. Louis Cathedral at Jackson Square - just gorgeous.
By no means inclusive, but the whole city was just amazing.  Friendly, delicious, and BUSY.  Rob never got tired of checking out all of the amazing sights, and we had a nice balance of work and family time.  Rob had a BLAST in the pool, and was just the perfect little traveler.  Bodes well for our next adventure to OBX :-)  If you haven't gone to NOLA, I would highly recommend!  But only for a week.  Your stomach and liver can't handle more :-P

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Wrapping up 2014 Tri Season - Finger Lakes 2014

So, tri season is now over.  My first season as a Momma, a MIM (yeah, those kinda go togetehr!) was pretty awesome.  I didn't set any new PR's, but I cam awfully close a few times, and with a full time job, a full time kid, and some...ok...most....less than stellar sleeping night (hey, he rocks at everything else!) I couldn't be happier.  I placed in half of the tri's I entered, and landed in the top 10% of women for three quarters of them.  I think I would consider it a success.  It's now onto fall marathon training (more on that in a bit) but now, for one last recap of a 2014 tri.....Finger Lakes!

I've done this tri twice in the past, but not since 2007.  Kinda strange to think....last time I raced FL, I wasn't a mom, wasn't married, wasn't even engaged!  Wow.  Greg and I took a little trip down memory lane thinking about that.....we usually bypass this race because it's quite pricey, but with a wonderful family offer to babysit right in Canandaigua, we couldnt pass it up.  The course has changed quite a bit since we've done it, but it's basically an easy swim, a challenging bike, and a flas, fast run.  I had aspirations to hit a new PR (under 2:50) and was excited to race.

Pre race morning was a massive cluster you know what.  Greg almost forgot his helmet, I found a hole in my tire (god bless Towpath for hooking me up!) and I completely forgot to eat my breakfast in the midst of it, leading to a last minute swallow of some pb and bread.  (not optimal race nutrition!)  Since I wasn't familiar with the new course, I listened to the pre race briefing....now a quarter mile run on a pebble path to T1 (awesome) and a new bike mount (more on that later).  Ah, well.  No use in getting in a snit about little things.

Swim (34:01, including .25 run to T1).  My swim sucked.  It felt good, but my sighting was truly awful.  The swim is set up in a long rectangle, and the whole time I felt like I was swimming alone.  Story of my life....faster than the average woman and slower than the good ones.  Could be worse :-P  My buddy with a garmin clocked the swim at 1.1 miles, and I was out of the water in 31:27 so with my complete lack of swim training, I felt ok about it.

Bike - 1:22, 18.2 avg. - Running out of T1, I realized that there was a 1000 yard run...in bike shoes....to the bike mount.  Why they did this, I have no idea.  But apparently it all counted toward your bike split (1000 yards out to bike, 1000 yards back from bike.  WTF.  This probably pissed me off more than it should, but running in bike shoes sucks.  Other than that, I don;t have much to say about the bike.  I leapfrogged with a bunch of men, saw 2 women (passed one, one passed me) and forgot how hilly Canandaigua was (and then remembered.  Again and Again :-P)  I wasn't happy with my bike, but I wasn't unhappy either.  There are a few great downhills but they all end in a sharp turn, which makes them pretty much a moot point.  The first 10 miles of the course were pretty much all uphill, then some give back afterwards.  All in all, I think I could have pushed harder, but I suppose that's a goal for next year.

Run - 53:22, 8:36 avg.  As I got out of T2, I heard the race announcer announce my husband coming in.  This was a great surprise - since I did the Olympic and he did the Sprint race, he started :55 minutes after me.  I had no idea what kind of race he was having, and with the different distances, it was truly kismet that we connected.  With that said, I had no issue being his rabbit, but I'll be damned if I was going to make catching me easy - I jetted out of T2 and onto the run.  The run is two loops and pretty flat.  I've been running without socks lately, and also without yanks (they make my feet go numb).  I felt pretty strong the whole run....two shoe unties (I tied them once, the second time I was .5 miles from the finish and said eff it.)  Greg nearly caught me (woot woot) and as I started lap 2 and he finished. the race announcer mistakenly thought he caught me, which gave me a laugh when I most needed it.  I played catch with a few guys on loop two, got pissed off at the number of people wearing headphones (seriously, wtf??) and passed 4 people in the last quarter mile stretch, which made me feel awesome.  No pics because we had no race photogs and honestly the official race pictures make me wanna kill myself :-P

Race time - 2:54:xx, 4th AG, 16th overall woman.

I felt pretty decent about it.  Bummed I didn't place, but 3rd place was over 2 minutes faster than me and I must have been in the speedy AG because I would have placed in any other group (yep, I'm obsessive).  Greg and I grabbed some grub, chatted up some friends, and chalked it up to a race we did our best in, a beautiful morning, and a success to 2014.  I can;t say I'll run this race again....a few things really turned me off to the execution, and spending 8 minutes in "transition" is just ridiculous, but now I know. Can't wait for some new races and fun in 2015!!

And now...it's go time.  OBX 2014.  I smell a 3:xx in my future....and now I've made that public.  No excuses :-P

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Want "To Dos"

Hello there and happy "back to school time"!  I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday weekend and enjoying the last bits of summer.  It's been warm, sunny and overall gorgeous here in NY and I was lucky enough to have a super long weekend.  Now that I'm back to the grindstone (September is a NUTS month for us at work and race and training wise) I thought I would relive my mini "stay cation" a bit.  I was lucky enough to have a bit of time off last week, and with that knowledge, I crammed a huge "to do" list together in the hopes that everything I never seem to get to could get...done.  In one day.  HAH.  I ran around like a crazy person for the first 6 hours of the day, then, after my run (cause one must run 17 miles on their day off, right?) I stopped for a sec.  And tore the list up.  And then....for a little glorious bit...with my husband and kiddo- this past weekend, we focused on our "Want to dos".

We napped.
We played with some old toys.  Rob helped put away some baby things, and we had some laughs as he tried to sit in his swing and play tummy time.  Greg pulled out his x box for the first time in forever.  And I...read a real book.  Not a kindle book, not a work book.  Woohoo.
We had some delicious eats!  Ice cream.  Fudgies.  Homemade pasta.  A cookout with our family.  We made a mess.  And we just didn't care (Then mommy cleaned it up.  cause....I'm OCD like that :-P)
We went in the water!!  In the backyard, with our water table.  In the kiddie pool.  At Canandaigua Lake (where we lost-and then, phew! found Daddy's wedding ring).  It was a gorgeous summer weekend, begging for some beach time (and of course, open water swimming.  lol.  You know us too well).

The laundry is undone.  The floors still need steaming.  My coupons lay in a pile, uncut, and I'm pretty sure my facebook and twitter feed are prehistoric by now.  Meh, who cares?  Life is too short.  Sometimes you gotta toss that to do list and just pull out the wanna list :-)