Friday, August 31, 2007

The Getting out of Town Catch Up Post

Yep, we're leaving on a jet plane. No, not really, we're taking the Vibe. Got tix for a Round Rock Express baseball game tonight (they're playing the Isotopes! Like in the Simpsons!!) and then tomorrow, after a day of cavorting around Austin, the Elder Child and Hub are going to the Longhorn game while TDP DinoBoy and I find something to do. Then we'll linger late into the morning on Sunday before heading back home Sunday PM. Should be a fun relaxing family weekend.

I ran "long" this morning at the gym -- 8 miles. I could have gone longer, but I had to get home, clean up and stop at the Verizon store for a new phone before picking up the boy at noon. My old one was kaput and while it still rang, I could make calls and receive text messages, the screen was totally black so I couldn't see who was calling, who I was trying to call, or read said messages. Except if I held it at just the right angle in bright enough light, I could barely make out enough the characters to see the list of previous calls. The sad part is that they were not able to save my data, so I lost all my phone numbers and my ringtones (Jurassic Park for the boys, "Pop Goes My Heart" for Hub and generic for everyone else!) and my photos of kitty. So sad. But at least the warranty was still good so it didn't cost me anything.

What else? Hmm. Ran 3 miles in Central Park Wednesday PM, 4 miles on the treadmill at the apartment Thursday and then the 8 today. When I was done, an older man walked up to me and said he'd noticed me racking up the miles. I did 5 miles on one TM, then took a short break to refill the water bottle, chat with Hub who was on the elliptical, and find a machine that had better audio so I could watch Rachel Ray without hearing static. Then I did the last three. He said he was impressed with my stamina, and more impressed that I wasn't even breathing hard when I got off the machine. He asked if I was training for a marathon (despite the fact that I had my White Rock 2006 technical shirt on) and wished me luck. He was so nice and his stopping to tell me that my work had been noticed was a very touching gesture. It made me feel good about putting out the effort to get my run in before the fun this weekend. I kinda felt bad that I bailed on the last 6 that I *should* have done....

Wednesday, August 29, 2007


look at that, a run report. short, because I have to get dressed (er, actually, I have to pull myself away from Mike & Mike in the Morning and hop into the shower first...), but a run report anyway.

So, yesterday morning was the first day waking up in the corporate apartment. I had thoughts of a 3-miler to start off with, and the Hudson River Park was calling my name. But I got out there and it was eerie and spooky and nearly deserted. The sun wasn't up yet, but it wasn't quite pitch black still, but it was still too dark out. The thing with this stretch near my building is that there is a lot of construction going on, so large sections of the path are bordered by scaffolding and wooden walls and black screens on the fences. So you could be in the path, underneath the highway and nobody can really see you. Not too much of an issue if the path is busy, but very uncomfortable to a solo woman in the early morning. I got about 400 yards down the path, saw only one cyclist a long away, and decided that it just didn't feel right. So I headed back to the building and did a 5K on the treadmill.

So last night, I decided to try it again, in the light of day. A colleague who lives in the same building had said it was bustling in the evenings; I had a few minutes to burn before an 8:00 PM conference call, so I headed out for a couple of miles. The verdict after seeing the trail in the light of day? Meh. Long stretches under construction, not a lot of views, along the busy, busy street. Views of the piers and the NY dept of sanitation. Not particularly scenic. Sad to say, the East River had more picturesque scenery. Hudson River smelled better, but just a hair, and not enough to overcome the general lack of safety. It was OK when it was crowded, but as it got darker, there are still lots of areas that feel very vulnerable. So, I don't think I'll be going that way in the morning alone again.

Tonight I'm meeting someone at Columbus Circle and we'll run to the park together. That should be more fun, and I'll get to see the south end of Central Park as opposed to the north end and the reservoir that I got used to seeing when I was at the hotel.

Total mileage for the day: 7
Total time elapsed: 73 minutes (33 in the morning; 40 minutes (negative splits on the out and back) in the afternoon)

Gotta dash -- there is no hair dryer here at the apartment, so I've got to spend extra time arranging the wet hair in the clip so I don't look like I just rolled out of bed and ran through the sprinklers... even if I did...

Monday, August 27, 2007

From the Desk of a 7th Grader's Mom

Eeeep! My baby boy went to 7th grade today. And I couldn't call him at the bus stop from the office in NYC because the goober left his cell phone at home. And he couldn't call me from the bus on the way home to tell me about his day because he left his cell phone at home (and I was in a Directors' meeting, even though I'm not a director, but I get to go to those meetings now! Go me!). But I did talk to him later as I trudged up West End with my rollerboard and two computer bags toward my new temporary/part-time home. He found a few friends from last year to have lunch with and hang out with between classes, and he found his way to the band hall. He is in pre-Advanced Placement for science, math, English and Texas History, so he's in class with kids closer to his academic level than last year.

We spent Friday morning at Target and Staples finding all kinds of little school supplies to fill his backpack and fortify his desk, since we didn't have an "official" list from the school. I told him we'd likely supplement with requirements from his teachers once he got to class this week, but we had all kinds of fun with locker organizers, mechanical pencils, a Texas Instruments calculator (remember those! they're like $10 now and thin -- I remember inheriting my sister's chunky one with the red LEDs for 7th grade calculator competitions -- yes, I was a mathlete! At least act a little surprised by that!!) and Texas Longhorn calendar organizers. No brainwashing here, no sir.

The little one is pretty well set with first grade. He has the same group of kids in his classes from last year, and pretty much the same routine. The only thing that's off with him is that he's about the only kid in his class that hasn't lost any teeth yet. He's got a new bottom tooth coming in, but it's coming in behind the baby teeth, so all that's happening is he's getting a gap at the bottom of his little smile. We'll have to check with the dentist if the primaries don't get loose pretty soon, or orthodontia here we come. Fun. More fun with him is his joining Cub Scouts this year. Despite his "playing" baseball this spring, he's still not all that interested in any sports, so we wanted to find something for him to do outside of school. So we're trying Tiger Cubs this year; he had a blast at the first pack meeting, so we're looking forward to having a year full of fun and learning in an activity we have no experience at all with. Of course, we knew nothing about speedskating and hockey a few years ago either....

As for my running, it's still going. I've bailed on long runs the last two weeks, mostly because I just have a hard time with Sunday mornings and running 12-13 miles during that early morning timeframe. But I've had no problem keeping up with the weekly schedule, even with the travel. It's just been that long run. But now that both kiddoes are in school, I've officially switched the schedule so long runs are on Fridays. Instead of this general pattern:
M - Rest/cross
T -- 3-4
W -- 6-8 (10 as we get into late October/November)
Th - 4-5
F - Rest/cross
S - 3-4
S -- long (12+ increasing to 20)

we will now have this:
M - 3-4
T - 6-8 (10 as we get into late October/November)
W - 4-5
Th - Rest (travel day - likely a rest day)
F - long (12+ increasing to 20)
S - Rest/cross
S - 4-6

I think this will get me back on track in a couple of ways:
1) Friday mornings are pretty much wide open once I drop the kids off; it's still too hot to run outside after 8:00, but I can hit the gym for a few hours easy. Once I work up to 16+ hours it will be cool enough to run outside.
2) It takes into consideration Thursday as travel days. Normally it makes for a very long day, so if I can sleep in before starting the day, there's no harm, no foul.
3) If I want to do a walk with my pal on Saturday morning (like I did this Saturday -- wow -- used some muscles I haven't felt in a while on that one!), or go to hockey, or whatever, then we can do that and I won't feel guilty for skipping a scheduled run. But if I need to make up a shorter run, then usually Elder Child is up for joining me at the gym, and TDP DinoBoy is usually in for a trip to the gym's kids area.
4) If I miss a Monday run (like I did today, making grocery store/drugstore trips like I did instead of working out) I can make it up on Thursday if need be.

I used to be hesitant about running Thursday mornings before checking out of the hotel because I'd end up with a bag full of wet sweaty clothes that sometimes didn't make it out of the suitcase before Saturday (yeah, yeah, like I like to do laundry as soon as I get home! puhleeze). But now that I'm in an apartment, I can just throw that over the shower rod and let it air dry until I return on Sunday night. And I won't be lugging a suitcase through the airport every week either!

Another post on the new apartment will have to wait; until then, I need to get to bed. Got another long day tomorrow. Peace out!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Crazy Stupid!

So, the Texas Rangers scored their 9-game allotment of runs in one game last night! These are the guys sitting at the bottom of the AL West, firmly ensconced in last place since mid-May. I think most casual fans of the game, even in North Texas, can maybe name two or three of the spares that make up the Rangers lineup. But, wow, what a show. Elder Child called me hysterical with laughter and disbelief -- I naturally thought he'd gotten into Grampa's stash until I saw it with my own eyes on ESPN. Like I said, crazy stupid!!

Almost as crazy stupid? Me, the thirty-seven year-old, pulling an all-nighter on a project for work. I saved the hotel maid about three minutes by not even getting into the bed. Thankfully a colleague had talked me into joining her for dinner at a little place around the corner instead of picking up take-out and eating it in my room. That was the only break I got all night. Let's check in with me later this afternoon and see how I'm holding up. Oh, yeah, I have to train a bunch of client end-users today, too! Fun times!

Peace out -- must submit a few expense reports and get the corporate Amex paid off before they come after me and/or I get kicked out of the hotel!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Who'll stop the rain?

apparently, this blog has been taken over by CCR. Please, please, please make it stop (the rain, not CCR -- I kinda like CCR). The rain is bringing me down, not to mention making it impossible to hail a cab in this badboy of a city.

I did run Friday and Saturday, at the gym both days. No running Sunday -- got too lazy. No running yesterday because it was dark and rainy when I woke up. No running this morning because, well, same song, second verse. And I was up until midnight working on a project, so it was twice as hard to get up and hit the streets this morning.

BTW, why has nobody told me how awesomely funny and HOT Craig Ferguson is? How have I missed him all my life? It probably has something to do with the fact that I am usually fast asleep by 9:00ish, but whatever. Someone should have let me in on him. It's got to be the accent, or maybe the graying hair. But, wow! I found myself staying up even later than I normally would have to catch more of his show.

So, that's why I didn't run this morning. Which is crazy stupid, because it's something like 57 degrees out today, or something ridiculous like that -- I mean, really. When it hits 50s in Texas, that usually means NOVEMBER!! So I'm fairly idiotic not to take advantage of the cooler temps. But the temps are cooler because of the rain, let's not forget, and we know I can't be slogging around in the rain. The plan is to make it up with 4-5 this afternoon after I kick off from here. I've got to take advantage of the northeast side of the park for a few more days before I get relocated to my new digs on the Hudson River. I'll be moving into a corporate apartment about a 5-minute walk from our offices, so no more hoity-toity Upper East Side. And no more trying to hail a cab in the pouring rain -- I'll get to be a real New Yawker and walk in it! Wait a minute here...

Anyhoo, gotta run, but I should have some time later tonight to catch up on everyone and make sure y'all are behaving and getting a little more training in than I am!

UPDATE: How awesome was that? I ran around the north end of the park, from 92nd up to 110th, then across to Central Park West and south to 77th St. Ended up being a little less than 6 miles; I'll call it 6 since I had to walk about .25 of a mile to get back to the hotel after I stopped at the grocery store for dinner. It was cold and drizzly the whole time -- not too messy, just enough to keep the leisure walkers away and make the park nearly deserted off the main paths. I'd have gone all the way down to the south side of the park if it wasn't quickly getting dark and I didn't have about an hour's worth of work to do tonight. But, energy-wise, I was in a good groove and didn't even feel like I'd been running for an hour. I guess a couple of days' rest was a good thing!

Gotta run again -- if I don't want to be up all night I've got to switch off the fun stuff and get back to work.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Ta Daaa!

Ta Daaa!, originally uploaded by ccervant_99.

I'll try to get a better picture scanned, but you get the general idea. It was very medieval-ish. We even drank from silver goblets instead of crystal flutes. Wow. Those sleeves are huge, even by mid-90s standards!!

Caving in to the Pressure

Geez, y'all are a tough crowd! I will do what I can to get an electronic copy of the bridal scene from 1994 (remember, it was 1994!!!) and upload it today. Right now I'm headed out to register the Elder Child in 7th grade (eep!) and then hit the gym for 4-6 miles.

I also need to recover from last night's unplanned stop in Little Rock, Arkansas. I'm telling you, travelling between DFW and LaGuardia is killing me. And yet, even with the delays and surprise fuel stops, I remain less stressed now than I was when I worked in Dallas. How sad is that?

Anyhoo, I'll do what I can about the wedding pix -- I've got a great album, but none are scanned and I don't have a scanner here. I promise you, though, you will NOT be disappointed -- the sleeves alone are enough to make you laugh!!

Monday, August 13, 2007

Lucky 13

13 years ago today, I was decked out in the biggest heaviest ivory brocade wedding gown ever sold off the rack at Jessica McClintock. It was more suited for the October date we'd originally set when we first got engaged, but when reality hit and we realized Hub would be in the midst of his 2nd year of b-school mid-terms then, we moved the date up to August. But by then I'd already fallen in love with the dress, so August heat and convertible top on the wedding car be damned, I was going to wear the dress. It was my day, dangnabit!!

Except it wasn't just my day. It was our day. If he hadn't already won my heart by then, he sealed the deal when he cried when he saw me coming down the aisle. He hadn't seen the dress, hadn't known what to expect. And being the tomboy that I was, never wearing makeup or having my hair worn anyway but in a Pebbles-knot on top of my head, he was totally blown away by the made-up, upswept, pushed-up version of me that entered the church. I can't remember anything from the ceremony except that the Irish priest mispronounced our names and sounded like the Lucky Charms leprechaun. And at one point, my bridesmaids caught me admiring my new rings in the rays of sunlight from the skylight instead of listening to what was going on at the altar.

It totally bites being away from him today, but we had a typical (for us) celebration at lunch yesterday after pond hockey. He and the older boy were both sweaty and stinky, but high on the goals they both scored. TDP DinoBoy ate all my fruit salad per usual. It was a casual, comfortable family lunch, and it was the perfect embodiment of our marriage. As I wrote him in the card I left in his sock drawer (it was the one place I knew he'd find it!!), I don't just love him as much as I did 13 years ago, I love the life we've made together. It's far from perfect, far from easy sometimes, but it's ours, and I wouldn't have it any other way.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

11 miles

brutal. the heat, I mean. the 11 miles was just dandy. But, dangit, it's hot out there. 82 at 5:15, with some ridiculous humidity out there just to make it fun. I headed out, intending to do two 4-mile loops and end it with a 3-miler. That would give me the chance to switch out the lawn sprinkler and refill the water bottle at each lap. And, for once, the plan became reality.

My iPod decided to turn itself off after 90 seconds, so I ran without music for the whole two hours. I had set the Garmin for intervals of 1 mile run, 1 minute rest, with the fast pace alert set at 10:25. Part of the reason I've not been able to run long the last two weeks is that I go out way too fast, so today I had the beeps telling me when to slow the heck down. Final average pace was 11:00, which is about right for me for a long haul. It's just right to keep me going without wiping me out entirely.

There really wasn't much of consequence to this run, nothing extraordinary about it to report. Just me and my feet, and my clothes, which were soaked through and sticking to me by the end. I was wearing the lightest, thinnest shorts I own, and a long tank, and it quickly became too much clothes. I had my hair in pigtails (I was rocking those pigtails like my hero Nytro) and could feel the sweat trickling down the back of my head after about five minutes. It was disgusting. But in a weird way that only you TriBloggers and RBFers can appreciate, it felt good. It means that the summer training season is nigh upon us, and it was good to get out and just run.

I got a leg up on the laundry last night, so the last load is in the washer right now, and my packing system means that loading up the rollerboard won't take but five minutes later this afternoon. And I'm on the later flight tonight, so I don't have to leave for the airport until about 5:30. We're headed to pond hockey in a bit, and then we'll all have lunch somewhere for an early celebration of our 13th wedding anniversary. Sounds like a good day to me.

hope y'all all have a good day and a good week, too. Peace out!!

Friday, August 10, 2007

how to handle the heat

spend the afternoon at the pool, natch. no purposeful swimming was done, just lots of splashing, sliding and general fun.

ORN - 4 miles at the gym this morning, late this morning, after a viewing of Breakfast at Tiffany's when Hub left for work and breakfast with the boys. I'd never seen the movie and I missed the first half hour, but it was pretty interesting nonetheless.

I'll try to post a more detailed catch=up later this weekend, but for now, last night's delayed flight out of Newark is catching up with me, so I must veg on the couch for a bit before the two big boys leave for hockey. Peace out.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

I'll count it as a long run

since it's the longest run I've had in a couple of months. 9 miles and change, the change part coming as walking breaks in the first 6 miles. I headed out the door at 6:00ish, after having to find the fuel belt, fill the water bottle, put a load of clothes in the washer, and set the sprinklers going. NOTE: Let it be recorded that today, on August 5, was the first day of this summer that we've had to set out the sprinklers . It's been that wet here this summer. And everyone's yards looks amazingly green -- you just don't see that here at this time of the year.
Anyhoo, the Garmin was still set for 10 miles with 1 minute walk breaks, since that's been what's on tap for the last month and a half. So I went with it, but I could tell by the humidity in the air that it might not be a very fun run. I started out too fast for a 10-miler, I know that, but I was able to sustain about a 10:00/mile for the whole time I was outside. But that was only for 6 miles.

What I did was set out for a regular 5-mile loop, knowing i was going to have come back and change out the location of the sprinkler. I did the first half of the run in about 55 minutes, which included the 1-minute walk breaks. Then I stopped and refilled the bottle and headed out for the second 5 mile loop. And about half a mile from the house, I realized it was just too flipping hot. So I turned back home. I got in, switched the clothes to the dryer and put in a fresh load, then jumped on the treadmill. I really didn't want to, but the kids were all asleep, so there was no reason not to. So I droned on and did another three miles. Painfully boring three miles. I could have gone on for another mile to finish out the 10, but I just didn't have it me mentally. Plus, I hadn't done anything longer than 7 since July 1, so I figured I ought not push it. So next week I'll do 11, and then I'll be on track with my plan to increase for White Rock. I won't be a doing an early race this year, so I'm still OK. But I was really pushing hard to get to the 9, mentally, so I just need to push through and get to the double-digits next time.

Now we're off to hockey, then who knows what else for the rest of the afternoon until my flight later. Peace out!!

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Notes to self..

from the Newark airport....

1) the grilled hot dog from the vendor outside the office? YUM! surpassed only by the one I had at Yankee Stadium last summer. Good stuff, I tell ya!
2) the knish? I'm still not *quite* sure what that is exactly, but it is nearly as ummy as the hot dog. And you can't beat a $3 lunch.
3) the trip to Newark from mid-town Manhattan? via taxi, then train, then airport tram? Sucketh mightily. I'm only hopeful that my choice of airport is vindicated by arriving sooner than I would if I'd left from LaGuardia.
4) Get another pair of cropped tights or shorts with back pocket for phone and hotel key. Rinsing out the pair I love in the sink isn't working out -- they're not drying in time for the next day's run. And NOT rinsing them out? Not an option, especially if I'm going to be picking up running buddies from the team. Can you say stink? I have a couple of more shorts that I like, but without the big pocket, they're pretty useless. I don't run with my phone at home (yeah, i know, I probably should, but I like to travel as lightly as possible when I'm in the Suburbia South) but even I'm not naive to think I can get away without it in NYC.

OK, and now the audience participation part. here is the newest big dilemma: New bicycle for momma, per the Danskin reward plan, or four tickets to the Lion King on Broadway? Roughly the same cost. Sigh. In favor of the bike -- I promised it to myself, and I earned it on that lake, dammit. In favor of the show -- what better way to have an amazing experience in NYC for the boys than to see that on their first trip? And, I haven't been on the old bike in a month+. Decisions, decisions. Wouldn't it be cool if the Broadway show fairy left me a prize under my pillow? (It would be more comfy to have tix under the pillow than a Giant!!)

Boarding now! Gotta run!! or fly, as the case may be!!