Friday, November 30, 2007

Going Home

at last. Or we're trying to, at least. Currently in a cab on the Upper East Side, slowly wending my way toward LaGuardia. So I can catch the 8:00 pm flight... instead of the 3:30. Ahem. Enough said.

Tried to enjoy the Cowboys' game last night. It was tough listening to snoremeister Bryant Gumbel and the cheeshead homers. It seemed like they were so hesitant to admit that the Cowboys might be the better team. Even at the end, they focused on Favre being out of it instead of giving full credit where credit is due. Argh. No matter -- my boys at home are doubtless thrilled about their 11-1 'Boys. Even if we did get spanked by the Patriots. We're enjoying the ride while we can.

What else, what else? Not much, except did I mention that I get to go home in a minute? Thrilled about that, let me tell ya!

Oh, and the forecast for NYC next week is supposed to be in the mid-20s, with highs only in the 40s, if that. Um, we have a problem -- me no likey the cold. I thinks I will be very sad next week, especially if I don't get the heater in the living room of the apartment fixed. I'll just need to be sure I bring a double set of flannel pajamas and fuzzy slippers to keep me warm.

that is all -- the battery on this thing is nearing it's end and there is no plug in sight in the cab. The good news is that I've actually gotten a little closer to the airport since I've been typing. I might actually make it on time --shush, don't jinx me!!

Peace out -- see you on the other side of the weekend. I don't plan on even bringing the computer out of the bag tomorrow or Sunday.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

If I *have* to be away from home...

then I can't really think of a better evening than this:

paella and good conversation with the team at Havana (Cuban restaurant in West Village)
warm chocolate cake with ice cream
Chris Isaak with Craig Ferguson on the Late, Late Show

Um, yeah, I'm a total loser. Can't be helped, so I may as well embrace it, no?

YORN: 5 miles last night -- down Park Ave to 14th Street, back up 7th St to the apartment, 49:50 running time (about another 5 minutes waiting for the lights to change)

ORN: 4 miles this morning, 45 minutes.
The gym in this building is fairly sucky, in that there is only one TV instead of the 4 at the other apt. building. And the cable on it doesn't work, so there is only the local channels. And the lady on the other TM was watching the bad morning news team FULL BLAST, so that I couldn't hear Grace Lazenby on my iPod. But that was OK because it was freakin' frigid outside.

Gotta run, so I can give full attention to Mr. Isaak and Mr. Ferguson. peace out.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

In which I apologize profusely

for being such a slacker blogger. I was home (HOME!!) last week, working from the front office the first part of the week, and it was so loverly that I couldn't stand spending any time online once I was free from work obligations. I did spend some time surfing the blogroll over there and on personal email for a bit Thursday morning, but beyond that, I just couldn't handle being in front of the computer. So I didn't do update after Wednesday AM. Sorry.

The weather was yucky and cold from Thursday midday (right about the time we left for turkey dinner at Grandma's house) until I left Monday morning. It was perfect for some deep hibernation and lazying, which is exactly what we did. Hub and his dad and brother took the Elder Child for his first hunting trip Friday and Saturday, so I had TDP DinoBoy all to myself those two days. We spent a LOT of time watching old Looney Tunes cartoons, the pop-up versions of High School Musical, and Arthur episodes on the DVR. We did the bare minimum amount of housekeeping, and spent much of the weekend snuggling with the cat and eating popcorn. We relived his trip to the city when we watched Enchanted and the Macy's Thanksgiving parade.

The Tooth Fairy paid us a visit while I was home, too, which was very good timing on her part. The lower tooth on TDP DinoBoy had been loose for months, with the permanent tooth growing in nearly full behind it. It finally came out Wednesday morning, not without some wiggling on his part, but I was very lucky to have been home for it, as was Hub, since he fully admitted that he wouldn't have figured out how to do the certificate thing and cash exchange.

Oh, yeah, and that Turkey Trot thing. I had run the day before, right, when it was freakin' Africa hot and humid, right? And I was thoroughly disgusted with my performance and the wheezing and gasping that accompanied what felt like a very slow four miles. So I went into Thursday morning's run with the attitude that it would only be a fun way to burn off some calories and make room for the pumpkin cheesecake later that day (which, BTW, was fabulous!). I had put any thought of a PR well behind me. Also, I had confirmation that morning that the Garmin is indeed kaput. After three years and more than 3000 miles, the display on it doesn't even come on. I'm hoping that i can hook it up to the serial port and get the last bit of data on it transferred to the desktop, at least, but I realized early Thursday that I had to go low-tech and run with only my sad little stopwatch, with no lap times or any other way to measure splits. So I was going in for fun and the t-shirt, pretty much (they always have great long-sleeved tees, which i pretty much live in from October to February), and wouldn't have any data to dissect later on. Which, really, let's face it, is half the fun of running!

So, after being nearly 80 on Wednesday morning, the temps fell almost 40 degrees in 24 hours, so that when I left the house Thursday, it was only 41,with a fierce wind. There's a stretch of the Turkey Trot course, early on in the first two miles, where we run along the highway, pretty much unprotected from the winds. I knew that wasn't going to be fun. I layered a tank with two long-sleeved tech shirts, and wore my number on the top one. I thought I might have to strip one off, and in retrospect, i should have pinned my number on the bottom one, but I decided that it might be cold enough that I could handle both layers. Mistake number one. Second mistake was taking it a bit too easy on the first couple of laps. I ended up passing the first mile marker at 11:00 and change on my watch, which just reinforced my thinking that a PR was out of reach. Right past the first water stop at the mile 2 marker, I had to pull off to the side and take the top two shirts off, then put the outer layer back on and tie the inner shirt around my waist (dumping it was NOT an option - this is the LS shirt that I've worn in all my marathons and I LOVE it!). That probably burned a good 30-40 seconds, since I was pretty much not in a rush or anything. Plus my hair came loose and I had to futz with the ponytail thingy for a bit.

I've done the 10k on this course probably three or four years now; I did the 5K instead a couple of years in there when Elder Child ran it with me before his foot problems waylaid him. Each time, the hills kill me. There aren't any big ones, just a lot of rollers that come pretty close together in the first 4.5 miles. These are always my bane, and I dread them. This year, I was able to handle them with ease, and passed several folks at each one. I think this is due to the inclines I hit when I run around Central Park. In any case, I was getting stronger the longer the race went on. I was having a blast, making sure to thank the police officers and course volunteers, and I was just clipping off the miles without much effort at all. Last year, when I had that PR and crossed at 1:02 and change, I thought I was going to puke I'd been breathing so hard and swallowing so much air. This time, I felt strong and relaxed, but was reeling more and more folks in the closer we got to the finish. I must have seriously boogied on the last four miles, since I was at 22 and change after I stopped to change shirts. So, I was very surprised to come across the street from to the finish and see 1:02:40 on the clock -- I had no idea I'd been going that fast for the second half of the race. Who knew?! I ended up crossing at 1:03:05, about 25 seconds shy of last year's time.

So I didn't PR, but hey, I had fun, and I felt good at the end. I was a little disappointed, but in the end, I decided that if I had that good of a time (for me) without really trying, I do have a 10K PR in me. But it was not to be that day. And that's OK. Really, it's OK. I went out to enjoy the day and that's what ended up happening. The weather turned sour later that day (witness the snow during the Cowboys game if you don't believe me!), but that morning, it was clear and brisk, and truly a glorious morning once we got warmed up and going. Right about mile 5, the sky was so bright and the day so crisp that I seriously got teared up, thinking about how lucky I was to be home, to be where I was that day, to be in good enough shape to enjoy the race and the atmosphere and to really be thankful for what I have. It was a good way to start the day, PR or not.

So, there. I missed the PR by about 5 seconds a mile. I spent too much and yet not enough time with the boys hanging out and snuggling and reconnecting. I didnt' do a whit of work more than was required. Not a bad week, if I do say so myself.

Gotta run. Almost time for Sex and the City re-runs on TBS. So sad, but they're the highlight of my evenings here in at the apartment. Sigh. Peace out!!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

looking for my mojo

I believe I've misplaced it, probably somewhere around 52nd and 8th. Sigh. Just hadn't felt like doing much of anything the last few days. I did get out for a run this morning, in what felt like sweltering conditions (although says its only 71 with 60 percent humidity -- bah! ). I managed to keep up a 10:00 mile for 4, which is pretty good, but nothing close to what I'll need to sustain to PR tomorrow on the Turkey Trot course. Which has hills. Oy.

The weight has continued to fluctuate -- it barely maintains when I don't run, and doesn't budge at all when I do run. I know it's all about the intake, and my intake is for crap lately. 60 percent of that can be attributed to the work hours and environment -- I don't often get time to eat a decent lunch, so I end up snacking on whatever 4-hour-old sandwiches were brought in for someone else's lunch meeting. And by the time I get out of the office and head to the apartment, i don't feel like eating a good dinner, so I end up snacking on something (I have at least stayed away from the cupcakes lately) but it's not nearly the good balance that I need. And that plays into not only the weight but the energy and motivation for the next morning, in that I don't wake up in time to run in the morning, and even if I did, I'd be running on empty. Sigh. But I know that I've got to get a handle on it. I know the right things to do -- actually making them a priority is going to be the tough part, but I know that it's got to be done, for my long-term sanity and well-being. Getting back on track while I'm away from the project this week is step one.

So I'm hoping to find a little corner of my mojo while I'm home, at least enough that I can grab onto it and keep it with me for a while longer. I'm in significantly more control of when and what I eat, and we've been able to sit down to a home-cooked meal every night I've been home (except for Scout meeting day, but even that was leftover home-made shrimp with rice from Sunday). I felt good on the run this morning, even if I did feel like I was wading through the air.

And bottom line, as I sit here in my office, in my house, with my kids and hubby asleep in the next rooms over, even if my running mojo stays lost for a few more days or, hell, even weeks, right now, at this moment, I'm doing OK. Better than OK, actually.

Hope you have a great Thanksgiving (y'all Canadians, too!) and enjoy time with your friends and family. I may or may not post a Turkey Trot report -- it depends less on whether I PR and more on whether I can remember my Blogger password, that I apparently reset last week and yet can't now remember. As long as it stays in my browser cookies, I'm OK. Gotta blast!

Friday, November 16, 2007

The good news?

I've been a commenting fool for the last two hours, reading all that I've missed out on in blogland. Boy, y'all are crazy-busy, even in the off-season. I've had more than enough opportunity to catch up on all my favorite reads.

The bad news?
I've had two hours to catch up blogs because of the freakin' wind at LaGuardia. Tell me, folks, if you can see what is wrong with *this* picture:

Yes, my life sucketh mightily right now. Harumph. But, what are you gonna do? Of course, the grand irony was that the cab ride from midtown to LGA took all of 35 minutes (a new PR, as it were), the security line had ONE person in it in front of me, and she had her crap in a pile so by the time I got my shoes off the xray conveyor belt was empty and waiting for me. Of course.

One happy side effect of the delay? I'm getting all my Christmas or-gan-eye-za-shun done, so I'll have completed my lists and updated the addresses by the time I get home tonight. Whenever the heck that might be.

Oooh, customer service award goes to American Airlines on this one. Just NOW got a voicemail from them. Telling me my flight, that should have been boarded half an hour ago, that should be taking off in two minutes, is delayed. Thanks for sharing. Argh.

um, yeah, hi...

apologies for the three of you out there who stop by on a regular basis. This past week has been crazy-busy to say the least. Three nights in a row of not leaving the office until 10:00 pm. Which sadly translated into no running to speak of, except for last night when I was finally determined to hit the streets for a 50-minute jaunt through Times Square and down to Chelsea, then back up 5th Ave to see all the storefronts. I ended up walking some, running some, just depending on how I felt and how crowded the sidewalks were and what taxis were trying to run me down. I just needed to get out and move.

You know how some people have a bad day at work and walk out saying, "I need a drink"? or, usually for me, "I need some chocolate"? This week, it was all about the "I NEED to run." Not fast, not far, just a bit. But the problem with working until 10:00 is that my nutrition was for sh!t (and not in the usual "I ate crap"way, but in the "I have eaten NOTHING substantial since 11:00 am" way) to the point that I had no fuel for a run, and I knew if I went out that late that I would be wired until past 1:00 AM. As it was, it was hard for me to fall asleep before 12:30 with all the things jumbled in my head. So nothing until last night.

But I haven't been a total sloth. My apartment is a nice brisk 16-minute walk from the office and I've walked it every day -- I will only take a cab if it's pouring rain, something beyond a mist. So at a minimum I've gotten half-hour walks in each day. And I have started each morning with some combination of lunges, plies, yoga stretches (let's not call it all-out yoga but yoga-like I'll agree to). So I'm OK, but just am missing the running.

Going home today, and will be home for the week next week, although working from the front office M-T. Should be a good break and will give me plenty of time to recharge for the next big push here in the city.

gotta blast, but thanks for the concern. all is well.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

running in the city

I really do enjoy running in the city. While I always prefer to run in the mornings at home, when I'm here in NYC I find the best way to unwind after a crazy day at the project is to go for a run.

And speaking of a crazy day at the project -- who goes for a smoke break during a regularly-scheduled status meeting? Yes, they're the client, but honestly. Get up in the middle of a meeting (that YOU called and insist on, BTW!) and then come back 10 minutes later? And not even pretend to hide the lighter and cigarette holder when you throw them down on the conference table? Anyway, I digress. Where was I?

Oh, yeah, I was running out to the south side of the reservoir and then back down the west side of the park to Columbus Circle and then trying to get through the packs of tourists that crowd the sidewalks near the new apartment. So, yeah, on nights like today, I remember how much I love running. I covered just over 5.5 miles in 54:45, which was pretty good time considering how much i had to zig and zag around the folks standing around the streets. Never mind if I never run another race again (highly unlikely, BTW -- I crave the finisher hardware too much), I know on nights like tonight that I will always, as long as I can do it, be a runner.

tomorrow is fly-away day. Cannot wait. I miss my boys. and my crazy psycho possum-like cat. and my sweetie. and my bed. The weekends are too short, but that makes me treasure the time all the more. Peace out!

in the thick of it

moved to a new apartment closer to Times Square area of mid-town. It's a bit more crowded and significantly louder in this part of town. Just a lot more bustling.

I'm doing well, but I did decide not to do White Rock this year. Which means no marathons for me at all this year. I feel like I *could* pull out the long run mileage in the next three weeks to be somewhat ready, but I wouldn't have fun. And I certainly wouldn't be prepped to do anything close to my PR. Add to that the fact that I haven't signed up yet. Add to that a hockey tournament about 90 miles north of year that would take the boys away for the weekend without me if I stayed behind to run. So I'm not doing it. Makes the fact that I haven't been able to run at all this week because of work a little less onerous. I'm disappointed, but mostly OK with it, because I know it's the right decision.

But I am targeting Austin for February 2008 -- I need to sign up this weekend to make it real. Then, we'll just plan to have a long weekend in Austin, all of us, and I'll get to have my time with my boys and that husband of mine *and* I'll get to run. Plus I have more time (and longer stretches at home over the holidays) to get the mileage up to the level where it needs to be to have a safe and enjoyable marathon.

So that's the big news. I hadn't posted it even though I decided it Sunday because I wasn't sure how to do it. But there it is.

One thing it has freed me up to do is to look at a few shorter races for Saturday mornings, so I'll be doing a lot more shorter fun things that the kids can come with and participate in the fun runs. So expect to hear about some of those. For now, I should get ready for work. Peace out!

Thursday, November 01, 2007

To the Schlub at the Gym

Yeah, you. When you come up to me and say, "I'm not rushing you or anything... but, how much longer are you going to be on there?" when i'm on the treadmill, um, yeah, you ARE kind of rushing me. And, when there is not one but TWO other treadmills available, your question is completely unnecessary. Seriously. I am NOT going to rush my workout so you can jump on. Ugh.

Anyway, I did 2 miles of hills, followed by one mile of speed intervals, followed by 2.2 miles outside (so I could free up (another) treadmill for schlub guy). Total of 5.2 miles, in about 55 minutes.

running again

so after a week off I'm running again. Up and down the Hudson River Parkway and around the west end of Central Park. Where they have the bleachers up for the marathon this week. Sigh. I wish I was doing NYC this year -- I might have a little more motivation. I bailed last night after a couple of strong runs Monday and Tuesday. But the sadness of missing Halloween at home, together with extreme stress from the day at the office, combined to leave me drained of all energy. And then there was a deal on Bravo about the scariest moments in films, so that sucked me in, until I drowsed off well before 10:00 pm. How sad is that? And the weather was perfect for a run, but I just was wiped out, again, more emotionally than physically.

anyhoo, tonight will hopefully be an 8-miler around the park and into the East Side neighborhoods I used to run in when I was at the hotel. Looking forward to that -- that's what I was supposed to last night.

Not much more going on. As fun as it was to have the kids here, it is even more sucky to be apart from them again.

As soon as I get photos from Hub I'll post them. TDP DinoBoy was Greedo and we were unsuccessful in getting Elder Child to don the Han Solo garb and go with. I even told him I'd get him this shirt, but he opted out of that, too -- apparently he didn't want to be a geek. I thought it would be hilarious! Anyhoo, they apparently also got a shot of Elder Child stripping the mask off a la Scooby Doo -- "and we'd have gotten away with it, too, if not for those meddling kids!!" Yeah, they're worried about being geeks. Horse and barn door, folks, horse and barn door.