Friday, December 26, 2014

Christmas Blues

As y'all know.  I LOVE Christmas.  I especially love the lead up to the holiday.  The holiday itself goes by in a blur, leaving blue feelings and scraps of ripped wrapping paper in it's wake.

My Christmas Day was a rather low key affair.  We went to see Into the Woods in the morning (after I made a point to go running, and after presents were exchanged and stockings ripped into)

John got my charms for my bracelet, and a magical cardigan of many pockets.  I got him Pocky for his stocking.  Misty got toys both from us and from my mom.

After the movie, I decided to cook.  I had ham from the day before. Vegetables from the day before.  And I thought I was being smart by cutting and freezing potatoes.  I defrosted them overnight.

Somehow the potatoes turned black and molded in my fridge overnight.  And liquefied.  It was SO disgusting!

In the end, we had enough food.  Friends came over for margaritas, leftovers, cards and Christmas specials.

I capped the night with tea, freshly made Irish brown bread and the Call the Midwife Christmas Special.

(seriously, who was surprise that Cynthia became a nun???  No one)

Today I'm going to make some lunch, and after the Spousal Equivalent gets home we're going shopping.

And maybe I can talk him into getting pizza.

At least it won't be ham.

Happy Boxing day everyone.

Monday, December 22, 2014

What a long strange trip I went on.....

So, I bought a Groupon for Cranial Sacral Therapy.

I did research.

I knew what I was getting into!

I didn't expect it to me this... weird...  he suggested that I drink hemp milk to combat the EMF in my body.  It hit a level of New-y Age-y that I haven't reached in quite some time.  The guy was weird.  the office was more of a single room than an office.  It was weird.

And to make matters worse, as soon as I laid down on the table my stomach started going a humpback whale impression.  I was afraid I was going to call a probe.  (I know, this movie dates me SO much!)

Yeah, not going back...

Tomorrow is the real first day of vacation.  I put in vacation hours to do it and everything!  I need to get out and run.  We have plans to go to Christmas Town.

We just need it not to rain!  The forecast is all over the place for tomorrow.  Rain.  No rain.  Kinda rain.  I need it not to.  Because I need distractions.

The holidays are really hard when I'm not in New York with my family.

To say that my family has been in New York State for a long time is an understatement.  Dad's side of the family has been there for a generation or two.  Parts of mom's family has been in the same area of the state for about three hundred years.  Christmas was always a big deal on both sides of the family when I was growing up.  Now it's a time that I can actually see my family without someone dying to get me up there!

So this year we're starting some new traditions:

  • Church on Christmas Eve
  • I'm cooking on Christmas Eve so I don't have to cook much Christmas Day.
  • We're going to a movie.
  • Friends are going to come over and we're going to play WILDLY inappropriate games.
And there will be cure pets.  (This picture is old. but also adorable!)

I have a plan.  And I refuse to be sad.  I just need the weather to hold for a day.  I'm desperate for a run!

Saturday, December 20, 2014


VACATION!  (sing it to this tune)

At 4:30 yesterday I left my office and won't return until the new year.

Of course I went to another office to turn something in.. and it was locked.... I picked up some cupcakes at Extraordinary Cupcakes and made me way home.

How did I spend day 1 of my vacation?  We went to see The Hobbit.  My verdict?  Not to be too spoilery, but there was a bit too much war and a little too little wrapping up the story.  After we did some shopping.  (Note to self:  until next weekend I will only visit stores in the early hours of the morning!  Sheesh!!)

What do I plan on accomplishing during my time off?

  • cleaning- catching up on housework and all
  • working out- I'd actually like to see if I can do 2-a-days when I have no other plans
  • going to Christmas Town.  I need twinkle lights, spinny rides and cocoa.  Our current plan is to go on Tuesday!
  • watching all the Christmas programming that I can.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

We've hit the final stretch.  I have half a week of work (plus today).  After that there is a weekend and two days.

Then it's Christmas.

It's a bit odd to me.  Christmas snuck up this year.  We're not going anywhere, so the holiday has a different feel.

I've always loved Christmas.  I think I get it from my Father's side of the family.  Grandma always seemed to love the holiday as well.  Their house was decorated with not one, but two Christmas trees.  Christmas Eve was the big day at their house.  Lots of relatives.  Lots of food.  And a joke box of ladies undies that went to a different person every year.

My Aunt seems to have kept up that tradition.  A gift exchange.  Lots of food.  Lots of wonderful conversation.  Lots of wine and whiskey.  (Apparently we missed the year of the drunken Christmas carols a few years back....)  But always fun.

This year it's going t be quiet.  Food, church and my collection of Christmas DVDs.  I still want to hit Christmas Town again.  When I feel nostalgic for those holidays of my youth, it hits the spot.

In the days leading up to my holiday vacation, I plan on cleaning my house.  Why?  So I can relax and lay around in my pajamas and feel absolutely no guilt.

9 days to go....

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Guys, I'm 40 now!!

This past weekend was my birthday weekend!

This past weekend was also the deadline for graduate applications....

Friday, we got take out from Noodle and Company (free Birthday noodles).  Saturday I worked on graduate stuff.

Sunday.  Sunday was the big day.

Sunday I woke at 6am, and got ready for my big race.  The Christmas Town Dash 8K.  The previous day had been rainy, but there was nothing but sun forecasted..


And wind.

Holy CRAP, the wind!!!

As people already know, the race is a whole lot of parking lot, with only a bit in the middle in the park.  I had a zip front sweatshirt on, and was glad of it.  I took it off and put in on multiple times during the race.  I used my interval timer, and Map my Run for the race, but no music.  Actually, Map my Run wasn't speaking to me, so I had no idea of my pace.  But in the end it turned out to be ok, as I beat last year's time.  Seriously, I wish they'd have more park and less parking lot!

Honestly, the best part of the race is high fiving the Marines on the San Marco bridge.  It comes in at about the half way point and is a welcome sight.

They even gave me my medal at the end.

Medal in hand, we went home for a nap.

Later on that afternoon, we left to go back to the park to eat some food and meet some friends.

But the sore, scratchy throat from Saturday caught up with me, and we were home by 6, me with a headache, sore throat and feeling generally crappy.

Yesterday my co-workers gave me a cake, and all sorts of people wished me a happy birthday.

Not a bad way to turn 40.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

A rather successful Saturday

This time of year is always rather stressful.  It's a mad rush of things that need to be prepared for next year.  The biggest of all of these tasks is graduate applications.  The job involves scanning, uploading, filing and data entry.  It's hours of work for weeks on end.  The worst of it happens around this time.  The dreaded deadline.

After working all day on this for most of the week, I spent 6 hours today hunched over my keyboard to get the rest of it done.  (And my back is paying for it.  Ow)

And I did.

I also managed to run, play some Just Dance, vacuum 2 rooms and put away a mountain of clean clothes.

It feels rather good to have accomplished so much, while at home in my jammies.

Tomorrow is the Christmas Town Dash, and the beginning of my birthday week.  We're doing a trip out to the park after the race.

I'm turning 40.  And I plan on ringing in my 40th year riding the rather tame rides at Busch Gardens.

And now, to wait for the Spousal Equivalent to come home so I can dye my hair.  After missing a chunk of it once, I need a spotter to help!

Have a wonderful Saturday everyone!

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Christmas is Coming to Busch Gardens

Since Thanksgiving has come and gone, I am now free to begin my Christmas Festivities!

  • The tree is up.
  • I have lights hung around the front window.
  • Stockings are hung on the wall with care.
  • I found my collection of Christmas Socks.  (It's a family tradition to wear them every day in December)
  • And last, but not least, We went to Christmas Town!

I've honestly been waiting for that last one for MONTHS now.  It actually opened last weekend, but we didn't get a chance to get there until yesterday.

Why do I love Christmas Town?

I tweeted last night:

It's the honest truth.  Not all the rides are open (Only 1 roller coaster is open, but the more carnival-ly rides are open).  Not all the parts of the park are open (the Sesame Street area is blocked off).  But everything that is open is covered in lights.  They bring in potted pine trees, reminding me of a time before I was allergic to pine (it's fake trees for me, sadly).  The restaurants have Christmas dinner themed meals.  And everywhere that you look there is hot chocolate.  The shows are Christmas themed.  The newest show, Scrooge No More is fantastic!

Buy a mug, it makes refills cheaper.  And you'll want refills.  Especially of the peppermint fudge hot chocolate.

The park is open from 2 to 10 most nights, but it's only after the sun goes down that the magic in the park happens.  And it is magic.


Next weekend is the annual Christmas Town Dash 8K.  That was my first race.  That race is the
reason that I'm a runner today.  It's also my birthday the next day.  Next week I'm going to run that race, then later on I'll come back with my friends and we'll have hot chocolate and ride some rides.

And since we're home for the Holidays, and have a season pass, I suspect that we might spend quite a few evenings in December wandering the park and soaking in the magic.

Monday, November 24, 2014

The Suspension of Disbelief and the Musical

Suspension of Disbelief: a willingness to suspend one's critical faculties and believe the unbelievable; sacrifice of realism and logic for the sake of enjoyment. (coined by Samuel Taylor Coleridge)

We all suspend our disbelief every day.  Every time we watch a movie, read a book or see a stage show.

But I believe that we suspend our disbelief in different ways for different past times.

Think about it.  You're watching a musical on the stage.  The sets are minimal (Like Chicago), the character has a massive deformity, but the actor has no makeup or prosthetics (Violet or the Elephant Man), the actors talk to the audience, and are ignored by those around them (seriously, too many plays to mention).  Those conceits don't fly on television.  They hardly every fly in the movies.  (The end of the History Boys was a bit off putting with the stuff at the end, and the Producers was just WAY over the top... in a way that would work on state but not on film)

Now live musicals are a thing again.  We had the Sound of Music last year.  Next week is Peter Pan.  People are either loving these or hating them.  Me, I'm always pro-musical... but I have these thoughts:

  • The casting last year was terrible.  I have hopes for this year.
  • Without a live audience, the performances lose something.  Ask anyone that performs live, and they'll agree.
  • I've hard that they made the role of Tiger Lily less offensive.    I'm interested to see how.
  • There's talks of Grease and The Music Man next.  Both of these make me immensely happy.  But casting will be key.  As we all know now *cough*CarrieUnderwood*cough* it doesn't work.
  • People REALLY shouldn't be looking for the slick production that a movie musical has.  There is no CGI or post production.  It's all harnesses, costuming, sets, makeup and camera angles.  I wonder if this is causing some of the disappointment.
Needless to say, I'll be there.  With wine.  And popcorn.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Eating Locally: 3 new restaurant reviews

Over the last few months a bunch of "mom 'n' pop" eateries have opened near us.  The Spousal Equivalent and I decided that we'd try them out!

from Facebook, because we were too hungry to take a picture
The first one that we tried was Mr. Gyros and Burgers.  We've been watching them renovate the old Greyhound station for a few months now.  The fare is Greek based, with the addition of burgers.  As the name implies.

the burger (I got a Greek burger) wasn't anything to write home about, but I put Gyro sauce on it, when made it pretty darn tasty.

There isn't much in the way of seating inside, with the exception of a counter and a few stools.  It's clearly a "take it and go" kind of place.

We want to go back and actually try the Greek food!

Earlier this week we got pizza from Emo Italiano Pizza.  These people have an IMPRESSIVE menu of Greek and Italian food, as wekk as burgers, subs and sandwiches.

As you can see, this place has a few tables to sit and eat.  It's also within walking distance to our place.  And they deliver!

The pizza?  It's not bad.  I want to try their Chicken Parm, which is a weakness of mine.

Today, we rounded out or tour with Viking Burger.  This place is relatively new, and (I believe) owned and run by members from the local branch of the SCA.  (hence the name)

I must say that I didn't really get what I ordered....  (I orders a single Thor burger with out the lettuce tomato, pickle and raw onion. and WITH grilled onions... I got a double cheeseburger) but I was hungry and it was GOOD.  toasted buns,m flavorful patties.  And fresh cut fries (the menu says they are massacred fresh every day).  The place really doesn't have much seating, (like Mr. Gyros) so we took our food to go.

The SE was SO HAPPY with his food.  Even the dog liked the fries.  (well, she loves all food, so she's easy to please).

We definitely want to try these guys again.  I hear that there is Viking Sauce, which we remembered as we were leaving with our loot..  I must investigate the next time that we're there.

And maybe I'll get my burger with the grilled onions....

The prices on all of these?  Reasonable.  Both of the burger joints had prices that were comparable with Hardees and the pizza place was actually almost the price of Papa Johns.

Honestly, of all of these places, I see us going back to Viking Burger the most!

But honestly, with such good local food, why even frequent the chain places?

In Summary:

  • Mr Gyros and Burgers:  The burgers are ok... the jury is out until we try their Greek food.
  • Emo's Italiano:  Good pizza, and GREAT prices.  I can even walk there.
  • Viking Burger:  GREAT burgers.  2 thumbs and 2 paws up from our household

Saturday, November 15, 2014

The Virginia Running Festival vs. The Crawlin' Crab

I was all sorts of ambitious when I signed up for not one but 2 half marathons this fall.

Now that I've done them, which one will I do next year?  I'm only doing one.

Let me see....  Let me compare

Race Routes

Both races had some amazing routes.  Virginia Running Festival (VRF) was flatter.  Crawlin' Crab (CC) had some hills.  It may have been me, but multiple times during the VRF I felt as if I had to stop and ask directions.  Some of the intersections weren't clearly defined.  And the fault may lie with the fact that I run slower than a turtle and they were starting to break down the course a bit.

Water/Rest Stops

There were plenty of water stops in both races.  Both had water and Gatorade.  But the VRF has a HUGE lack of porta-potties.  CC had the potties at every stop.  I don't know that every water stop is necessary, but having at least one on the front half of the course might have been nice...

CC also had a candy stop, which was a nice change of pace.  (I hear that the Richmond Marathon has a beer stop!)

Finish Line

Not that Crawlin' Crab's finish was bad.. but nothing can compare to the finish line at VRF.  There's nothing like coming into a stadium and taking an actual victory lap.  There is plenty of space for people to line the course at the end to cheer you on!

Distance to Home

Obviously VRF wins in the distance to home category!  Hell, my BFF can walk to the course from her house!  (If I do it next year, I'll tell her where to go and when!)

I don't know yet which of the two races that I'm doing, but I do know that VRF has a lot of room for improvement.  It's not that it's a bad race, it's just that I know that Flat Out can do SO much better!

But next up is Christmas Town!

Monday, November 10, 2014

Virginia Running Festival

And the Massive Medal Half!

This past weekend was a pretty good one!

I got my shirt and bib:

And then the Spousal Equivalent and I decided to prepare for the week.

I made some chicken:

And I went to bed early.

The next morning, with a 7am start time, was the Massive Medal Half Marathon.

I felt pretty good going into it.  it was a cool morning, but not too cold.

Of course, I immediately lost my friends.

And honestly, lost is the way to describe it.  I don't know why, but for a large track of the race, I felt that I must be going the wrong way.  I shouldn't have to ask the volunteers for directions!

About mile 3 it happened.  I had to pee.  Unlike the Crawlin' Crab, there were no porta-poties at the first few water stops.  Hell, by the time we turned onto Warwick Blvd, I was eyeing some trees.  My mile 5, I was a bit desperate.  And I saw it.  On the other side of a turn-a-round.  A porta-potty!  But it was at mile 7.  I had to just hold out a few more miles.

It was about then that I realized that I was like 4 people from the end.  And that was unacceptable.  I changed my run/walk interval.  I passed two people.

Then we went by the museum, and onto Riverside Drive.  Someday I'm going to win the lottery and live here.  I even picked out a house or 6 to live in!

About mile 12, I really was dragging.  I turned off my interval timer.  I turned off the music.  I just concentrated on power walking the rest of it.

As I was running in, there were runners getting into their cars and leaving.  But the ones walking to the parking lot were encouraging.

Then I saw it.  Pomoco Stadium.  The last bit of the race was a victor lap.  3/4 of the track to the finish line.  The SE met me to take pictures.  And I got some help running from a friend:
I did it!  I got my spoils:  water.  Gatorade.  a slice of pizza.  and a FRICKING HUGE MEDAL

The cool thing?  Apparently Flat Out Events won't start breaking down until the last runner has gone over the line.  After I was in, the last group came into the stadium.  The music switched to the Rocky theme (not Eye of the Tiger, the other one).  everyone that was there ran to the side of the track to cheer them on.  I cried.  It was inspiring!

And here's my results:
Congratulations on finishing the Virginia Running Festival on November 09, 2014.  For your records, the weather at the start was overcast, 52 degrees F, west wind 4 mph.  Your overall finish place was 400, your age group finish place was 28 and your gender finish place was 216.  Your time of 3:27:28.75 gave you a 15:50 pace per mile.
And I made some goals:

  • I used my run/walk interval timer for the overwhelming majority of the race.  I didn't give up and walk for miles on end.  I ran throughout the whole race.
  • I was under 3 hours 30 minutes
  • I was under the 16 minutes/mile pace.
  • It was a half marathon personal best!
After much rest, a nap and an Epson salt bath, we celebrated with shredded chicken burritos:

After dinner, I went up to watch Netflix.  The bed was the most warm and comfortable it's ever been.

After switching to a movie that I've seen at 8pm, I turned off the light and gave up at 8:30.

I was SSOOO tired!!!

Today my knees and lower back are killing me, and I have an amazing headache.  I need to continue the training.  Add in weight training and Pilates, but that can wait.

Though this morning I decided to let people know of my issues with the race.

I even got a reply:

Now I'm at work with my massive medal.  Man I'm sore!

But do I feel accomplished!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Blustery, Rainy Day

The weather report called for a drop in temperature and rain today.

I was unprepared for the sound of the downpour that was happening outside of my window.

So I made tea.  And because I had no milk, I used half and half.  The kind from a small plastic cup.


I think everyone was feeling the change of weather today.  The pets didn't want to get up from their nests of the sofa.  My tummy was unhappy this morning.  The Spousal Equivalent had a headache.  Basically it was just a crummy morning.  Instead of running, Misty and I walked around the block.

Now I'm at work, and realizing that it's not actually Friday.  (I've thought that it was Friday almost every day this week)  Tomorrow is Friday, but this weekend is a weird one for me.... since the big event is on Sunday.  I'm kind of waiting for Sunday to roll around.

Actually, on Sunday (or maybe Saturday this week), I'm going to prep meals for next week.  A big part of my prep will be some crock pot shredded chicken.  The recipe:


  • chicken (I buy it in the big bags from the freezer)
  • onion
  • olive oil
  • minced garlic
  • spices (I use a Mrs. Dash blend)
  • 1 can of chicken broth
  • Thaw the chicken and put it in the crock out
  • chop a medium onion and set it to cooking in a skillet with some olive oil (I know!  I'm SO precise!)
  • After a few minutes, add some garlic and spices and cook for a minute or two longer.
  • Deglaze the pan with the chicken stock, then pour the contents of the pan into the crock put.
  • Slap the lid on a cook on low for 4-6 hours.
  • Have some wine while you wait.  (this is optional)
  • After the chicken is done, take it out and shred it... I like to put the chicken in the crock put after shredding... to soak up more flavor
The options are limitless!  I cna take some chicken, add some taco seasoning and beans and make tacos.  Take some more, add soy sauce and rice for an Asian dish.  Put it on a pizza.  Put it into soup!

While the original recipe that I got this from called for more Mexican flavors, I like to make a huge batch of a more neutral flavor so I can use the chicken in a variety of dishes!

I'll take pictures and report back next week!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Making a plan and Sticking to it.

Yes.  Sunday.

I really can't believe it's snuck up on my this fast.

It's weird, because of life and other things, I know I'm not as trained as I could be.  Knowing that, I've decided to look forward to re-running both of these half marathons next year.  In the next few weeks I'm going to look at sample training schedules online, and make a plan.  See how my times improve.

After this weekend I can start to look forward to the holiday season.  We're doing Thanksgiving with some friends.  We all know I'm decorating for Christmas soon after.

The Christmas Town Dash 8K is right after Turkey Day.

In and among all of this, I'm turning 40.  A Post race celebration will be had at the park.

I've been thinking about all of this:  the decorating, the entertaining, the training, the Spousal Equivalent's overtime.

And I have come to conclusion.

I have to plan.  I have to stick to the chore schedule that I make for myself.  I need to keep on top of the laundry.  I need to meal plan and do the prep work over the weekend.  I need to plan the week's work outs (those vary with weather) and stick to them.

Anyone else have this problem?


Thursday, October 30, 2014

Halloween, as an adult

As a kid I wanted with anticipation for Halloween.

Now?  It's a day that makes the dog go crazy!  (most dogs have issues with Halloween, FYI)
from Hot Topic

This year there is a big to do at work.  But I'm still dressing up.  I'm dressing up as a student.

A Hogwarts student.  I bought the sweater a size too big, but I'll make it work.

(I'm getting into the spirit today by wearing TFIOS earrings)

There's a plan to hit up the Rocky Horror Picture Show later on Friday night.

But hey... candy goes on sale on Saturday....

But it's at 11.  And I'm old (and sick.  I've been sick all week)

In the scary news:  I have a half marathon in a week and 2 days.  I need to get back out running, but have been exercising with Just Dance 2015.  It's not bad.... but there are aspects from the last few games that I wish I could mesh together.

I miss the sweat mode from JD 4...

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Back of the Pack Runners

We all know that I'm not the fastest thing on two legs.  I don't know if I'll ever be!  Most days I don't consider myself a real runner, since I walk during my races.

This is my philosophy:

My goal?  a 16 minute mile.  I'd like to keep a consistent 15 minute mile, though.

This summer I ran the Bay Days 8K.  I remember being alarmed when a race that had a 90 minute time window was going to have the awards ceremony after an hour.

What about those that couldn't finish in an hour?  I know they wouldn't get an award.... but would they be forgotten?

It seems that other people have noticed that at times the back of the pack people get forgotten.

Other people have noticed it too.  It started out with this blogger (who is normally speedy, but decided to walk the race), then others started speaking up: One example here
I still vividly remember my thoughts as I walked back tired and hungry that day. I’d just run an entire 10k and was on a super high at something that I had never ever done before. And I was let down by the racing community who indirectly told me that being that slow was no good to even receive the water and banana that I had paid for.

And here:
If the course is advertised to be open for 3:30 from the start then it should be open and fully supported for that time and any runners who fall behind should be picked up or checked on for safety. It’s not special treatment to support ALL the runners within the time limit advertised. 
I'm not a fast runner, and thankfully none of the Flat Out Events or J&A Racing runs have ever tried to pack up on the slower runners.

You know what?  The medals that I have won aren't participation medals.  They are finisher medals.  I've worked hard for each and every one that is on my wall.

Finishing is a HUGE accomplishment.  For me, it's more important than trying to be first.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Vet trials and tribulations

Are we going in the car????
I don't care how much you hate the doctor.  Misty hates it worse!

Ever since I dropped her off and they scooped out her lady-bits...

It has so bad when we dropped her off last year for her dental, we almost had to pick her up again.  She was that freaked out.

Sunday was her semi-annual exam.

I took reinforcements.
Not the vet!!!!

The SE went with me.

And Misty did so well!  No one got bit!  And she didn't have to wear a muzzle!

But she was obviously tired and unhappy when we got home.

She left me a present in front of the sink then hid under the couch.

The bad thing is:  Misty weighs 13 pounds.  She really should be 11.5 to 12.
Did you say walkie???

What does that mean?  More big walkies.  So this little lady is going to go running with me in the mornings.  At least 3 days a week.

She hates walkies during the heat of the summer and in the snow.  But right now?  Perfect walkie weather.

Also, we have to cool it with the treats.

I guess both she and I could stand to lose a pound or two!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014


I've been following this.

And honestly, I don't get it.

To get caught up, go here.

I don't want to get into bias and corruption in gaming journalism.  Because this is SO much bigger than that.

How this started is so incredibly not important compared to the escalation that has happened.

Seriously, if the only way to win your argument is to issues rape threats and death threats and then publish the personal information of your female targets so the threats can be carried out....

It doesn't matter what your position is.  You've already lost.

because whatever point that you made is lost in the ugliness of the threats.  I don't even care about the original opinion.  I don't care what started it.  It's gone WAY beyond that.

I'll never understand why these men are SO threatened that they have to resort to this.  Why ANY man is to threatened that they have to resort to this.

Monday, October 13, 2014

You win some, You lose some

This afternoon was a win!

Why?  Well, other that it being oppressively hot for this time of year, it was also the Employee Appreciation Carnival.

And they had an adult bouncy house!!

Actually, it was like an obstacle course.  Like a REALLY padded Ninja warrior course...

I did it 3 times!

I even tried the climbing tower!  I got halfway up before the heights got to me!

I was a hot, sweaty mess, but man did I have fun!

Those lose some:  There no way I'm winning this DietBet.  I was SO close for the last round, this round I can't seem to manage it.

I've just been feeling off in general.

I read this article, and something clicked.  I'm working on the stress, and the sleep.  The water is an eternal battle.  But the last two made me pause.  Now before you go start saying that I have to give up everything fun in my life (dairy, meat, sugar), that's not going to happen.  I'm working on my portion size.  It's a battle of mine.  But I do want to add a probiotic to my daily regimen.  I have a coupon AND one is on sale at Target.  I also need to look into adding more fiber.  it's supposed to keep you fuller, longer.

Unfortunately, the last two require money.  Money is tight these days.  Do this weekend's fun is going to be substituted for my health.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Gimme a W!!!

I know I've mentioned this before, but Marching Band was a HUGE part of my High School years.

Yup, cut me, and I bleed Blue and Gold!

I don't know why I looked, but I knew that the band was travelling, so I looked up where (they've come to Virginia Beach before) and yup, it was Virginia Beach again!  Did I go?

You bet your sweet bippy I did!!

The Spousal Equivalent went, since no one else could, and since he was sick we left right after West Genny played.

He now fully understands what I mean when I saw West Genny is committed to excellence!

Before I get into the competition, let me break down the scores:
  • West Genesee:  86.1
  • Princess Anne High School: 84.450
  • Potomac Falls High: 83.575
  • York High: 82.6
  • Tabb High: 82.450
  • (and everyone else)
See?  Excellence!

The night started out with the smaller bands, and went to the larger ones.  (we left before Princess Anne, I actually really wanted to see them!)

I have some thoughts.  And these thoughts are mainly about colorguard and Visual Effect.

I'm very serious when I say that some of these guards need like a day with anyone who is skilled in guard work to clean them up a bit.  Body facings were off.  Messy flag work.  Eyes on the box, not on the ground!

But in these girls defense, it was super windy.  I saw flags being ripped out of people's hands!

But with the lower classes of bands, the music was really good!  (Some of the marching needed a bit of help...)  I'd love to see the guard add to the over all effect, not detract from it! 

Now, I waited all night.  We were there on the cold metal benches for hours waiting for what I hoped was going to happen.

The band started to take the field and a parent bellowed from somewhere on the stands above me:
"GIMME A W!!!!!"
I felt tears spring to my eyes are I shouted back.  I remember being on the field, and hearing my parents join that cheer.  I remember cheering that same cheer as we left the huddle before competitions.  I remember being at States one year and hearing the parents rows below me shouting it.  It's the same cheer that has been used since before my years in band, and I'm thrilled that it's being used now.  (They spell out WILDCATS, for those that didn't get it)

The band was excellent, as always.  I know that kids won't do anything except for their very best.  And by the end I was a bit misty in the eyes.  Because I remember what it was like to be out there.  I remember what it was like when you heard the crowd cheer.  I remember what I was like when all just fell away and you performed the very best show.

The take away?

I really have to go for the reunion parade in 2016!!!!

Right now?  A bath.  My back is killing me!!

Friday, October 10, 2014

'Tis the Season

I have a December birthday.  What does that mean?  It means that the questions will start coming:  What do you want for your birthday and Christmas?

I've been thinking about that.

And the answer is... I don't really want "things."

I have a house full of stuff.

Now I've expressed desire for the Toothless Build a Bear and the world's most perfect sweater, but do I really need them?

Not really.

All in all, I haven't been buying many physical objects of late.  (with the exception of running gear.  I've been trying to build up my running gear)  I download audio books.  I stream movies and shows from Amazon Instant Video.  I buy the occasional treat from Food Ireland and Trader Joe's.  I sign up for races.

After living in a few different homes over the last few years, I've become to learned that I don't need much in terms of "things."

What I want for Christmas this year:  The ability to pay for my races.  The ability to pay for a Disney vacation (to run the Princess Half). The ability top pay to go to Diagon Alley.  People to go with us to Christmastown (We're home for the holidays this year and no one is visiting).  being able to pay for healthy groceries would be a plus too.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Morning

Ever have one of those mornings?  The type were you just wish you had gone back to bed?

I did.

It was going well.  I did my morning walk.  (Around the block this time.  Letting my injury heal and all)  I then looked at my email.

Bad math cost me $35 in overcharge fees.

I hate it when I do that!

I managed to figure that out, and forgot to turn on the stove for my breakfast.  20 minutes later, I had that figured out when I dropped my container of faux-sugar.  I then battled with the dog.  I wanted to clean it with a mop.  She wanted to clean it with her tongue.  I won.

By 7 am I wanted to go back to bed and get back up tomorrow.

Driving to work I ran down the incredibly long list of chores that I want to accomplish before tomorrow.  Picking up the porch.  Cleaning up the entry way.  Sorting and putting away clothes.  Putting away the box of odds and ends that i collected last night.  Vacuuming.  Dishes.  Taking out the trash.  Making dinner...

I do not know what brought of this immense desire to clean all the things (well, clean my living room)  But maybe the place will look nice by this weekend!

Monday, October 6, 2014

My New Training Plan

As we know, I'm injured.

It's not awful, and it's getting better, but it hurts.

What I need is a plan!

This week:  Walkies.  See this?  Misty likes this plan!  Not a run in sight.  A nice morning walkie (with the puppy).  I'll start out short and work up to walking the distance of my morning run.  In case of rain, some strength training.

Nest week, I try for one short run!

I have this deadline looming in front of me:  October 15th.  That's the last day that I can defer the Massive Medal Half.  I REALLY don't want to.  I'm sincerely hoping that this injury is nothing and I'll be right as rain tomorrow.

But tonight it's more advil.  More ice.  More rest.

2014 Crawlin Crab 5K and half

It happened folks!  The races are done!

On Saturday morning I ran the 5K.  Gail and I did, actually.  I had a slight personal best (Like by 20 seconds), but I ran the fastest mile split ever, at 13:22 minutes!

The course was nice and semi flat, but the volunteers were the most blase and uninterested ever!

 But for race organization, J&A totally win!

Sunday morning was a less rushed affair.  I got dropped off and immediately realized that it was COLD!  The car said it was 47 degrees.  And there I was in a running shirt and capris.

Unlike the 4 corrals for the 5K, there were 6 for the half.  It took almost 10 minutes for us to start the race.

I walked more of the race than I wanted to.  I did it all with my friend Renee.  It was our first half.  It was her suggestion that for the next half I set my timer to 1 minute of running and 3 of walking, and I think I'm going to try that!

The course was amazing.  We went through downtown Hampton, by churches were the parishioners came out to cheer.  There were marching bands and cheerleaders from Hampton University.  The volunteers and police were cheering us on.  heck, people sat in lawn chairs in their yard to cheer us on!

Can I tell you that having ports-potties at all the water stops was a god-send!!  Seriously!!  The curse of the small bladder came to haunt me during this race.

Mile 9 and 10 swung around Chesapeake Ave with views of the million dollar houses and the bay.  it was cool, sunny and breathtaking.  I was SO glad that I bought the $3 hat at the expo (it says Leukemia and Lymphoma society on it).

Around mile 12 my knees started to hurt.  Not my knees... the backs of my knees.  Mile 13 it was more than a little painful.

But I finished.  My goal was 3:30 hours and a 16 minute pace.  I ended up with 3:34 and a 16:24 pace.

And I'm ok with that.

Today the back of the right knee is painful and sore.  I have plans to ice it, sit with my feet up and to get a massage.

And do some laundry.

The next race is in a month... so tomorrow I try out some walking.  Hopefully I can run a bit next week.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

It's that time of the year!

I bought my first pack of pumpkin spice k-cups yesterday.  (Target's house brand, they are the best, in my opinion)  I also bought the Spousal Equivalent some pumpkin ice cream from Trader Joes as well.

Yes, it's trendy.. but I like pumpkin flavor, so I'll take it.

I ran today.  A bit...  I haven't felt all that well in a week or so.  Nothing huge.  Tummy issues and a headache.  I figure rest along with pain killers and maybe a probiotic might help this.

What I really need to do is shake the blues that have settled hard on me.

Not really the blues.  More like the blahs.

I tweeted this yesterday:
I got many responses, both on twitter and on Facebook.  Which warmed my heart!  Today I've been listening to a lot of Sutton Foster, both excited for and dreading the race this weekend.

Then I got a call.  I have a mammogram tomorrow.