30 June 2011

Beautiful Day to Bike by the Bay :)

Yesterday was a glorious day! It came on the heels of the rainiest June day in the history of my life as a northern Californian. As I had run the day before... in the dark... in the by-then-drizzle... I wasn't going to risk injury by running in all that glory. So I had to jump on my bike and get some 'alone' time... just me and the beautiful evening :)

I am finding that, as I had been told, the bike is a great cross-training tool. With the exception of how uncomfortable my seat is, I love it. I already, after only one month, can tell that my legs are stronger and my cardio base is improved. Now I just need to work on my riding facial expression...

I'm not really going fast enough to warrant a g-force grimace. Working on relaxing the face... and even smiling. And hoping no bugs fly into my mouth.

Beginning my ride at 7:15 p.m. made for perfect temperatures and lovely light as the sun was just starting to set. There were a lot of people out on the trail... enjoying a little post-work fresh air... or perhaps an after dinner stroll.

This guy was super excited when I whipped out my camera! "Take my picture! Look! I have a drink! Did you get it?" "Yes," I assured him. And he was all smiles. I love it when something so simple makes someone so happy :) 
Behind him and across the water is the dog park ... this would be that Dream Ironman Triathlon swim course I mentioned in a comment on another blog, were they to stage one in my neighborhood.

And so I headed out for my ride...
Here you can see the fog bank hanging out just west of downtown San Francisco...
the water was so blue last night!

At the harbor near our house,
this little beach is where kayakers like to launch.
This was my farthest point northish.

For some reason I find these towers fascinating... or maybe it's the walkway out to them that fascinates me. Anyway... this was where I turned around at the other end of the ride...
so, southish.

After 45 minutes of riding, I returned to the compound at 8 o'clock.
Fortunately, the armed guards were manning the lookout...

Don't let his small stature fool you...
the dude is a terror and a madman with a Supersoaker Uzi.

Remember to enter the Williams-Sonoma Gift Card Giveaway! Contest ends 7/3.

29 June 2011

Musique... I'm Too Cheesy

What in the heck does this song or video have to do with France or French? is what you're asking as you shake your head in disbelief, having forgotten how cheesy music videos used to be.

Here's the really-stretching-things-way-too-far answer to that question...

The Freds are British... some endurance athletes' event of choice is swimming the English Channel. The swim across the English Channel entails touching French soil either coming or going. Therein lies the connection. Taaa-daaaaa.

Say what you want... I actually enjoy this song and will listen to it over and over and over when I run. For real. Furthermore, I am planning on making my own version of a music video for it. It won't be quite as cheesy, but you will probably laugh and/or groan just as loudly.


this version is too sexy for my family-friendly blog. Click at your own discretion. Don't say I didn't warn you.


The 30th is the last day to vote!!!... My good friend Sandra who blogs at Absolutely Narcissism is a finalist in a competition for a spot as a permanent blogger over at In The Powder Room. She needs your VOTE! yes, that is singular :) ... just one vote.... one lil' ol' vote for super awesome Sandra! pretty please :)
Here's that extra-easy voting link... click here!

Remember to enter my Williams-Sonoma gift card giveaway!

Name That Job!

Today I am a playing in a game over at Kelley's Break Room. You can go there now and see what sorts of weird jobs I and nine other bloggers have had (or haven't had) and try your luck at guessing the answers!

Kelley is super funny... she plays awesome games on her blog, like Name That Job and Captcha Balderdash. She pays homage to the unacknowledged  members of the workforce in her Today, we salute you... series, as well as writes hilarious song parodies.

I *heart* Kelley.

And for those who have been hiding in a cave for the past several days... or have just been elsewhere, here's what you've missed:

Try It Tuesday! and so much more...

Today was a weird day. It was pouring down rain... which almost never happens here in the summer. My kids spent the day at their outside sports camp. I was very curious as to how that would go. Turns out they were bored out of their minds cuz the camp was not really set up to handle this! Ooops.

After dropping them off, I went to acupuncture... which is always GREAT. And then I went home and ate lunch.

yum... lunch...

Does that look gross to you? It's my and Miss C's favorite!

Brown rice, steamed spinach, goat cheese and fried egg. Oh, and the paper that separated the cheese slices :P Another oooops.

All day long I was mulling over my running workout... because of the rain. Sometimes I am sort of a wimp... temporarily. "Maybe I should do something inside? Yeah, my legs are still pretty sore and tired from all those hills on Sunday... and that plyo on Friday... I might get sick running in the rain... I might... melt..." is kind of how that internal conversation went.

By the time the kids were fed, the husband was home, and the toddler was in bed, it was 8:30 and only drizzling. "Okay... I like running in the dark... in the rain... right? Right!" So I suited up and took off. I wore my cheetah shirt. I found it today in the garage...it made me feel sort of fast :)

Interestingly, I ran my 'easy' run faster than my Sweat Your Thorns Off 5K on Sunday. Of course that run was a total of 8 miles (5K of which were supposed to be fast) in the hot, blazing sun ... up huge and never-ending hills... with no water (cuz I am stupid). I was seriously hating life on that run... I was so out of my element... being a nightrunner and all ;-)

Tonight I ran very slightly under 5 miles in 45:01. And it felt easy. Here's my breakdown... remember, they are 0.75-mile laps:

7:11.40   (9:36/mile pace)
6:45.87   (9:00/mile pace)
6.55.24   (9:12/mile pace)
6:47.32   (9:04/mile pace)
6:45.59   (9:00/mile pace)
6:45.97   (9:02/mile pace)
3:49.99   (8:30/mile pace)  I'm calling that one 0.45 miles

Foam-rolled, stretched, ate dinner and watched the very first episode of The Waltons. Ha! Anyone want to de-follow me over that? :P

Then I was inspired and decided that I wanted to try something new... it being Try It Tuesday and all...

Sorry, no hair-flip this week... but there's definitely some other good stuff to look at ;-) Like my fab tiara!
Side notes...

  • Do remember to enter my awesome giveaway... Williams-Sonoma gift card.
  • Please help my friend Sandra get a job! Give her your one-time vote by clicking here.

27 June 2011

Granny's Gadgets – 2nd Quarterly Review and Giveaway!

It's been a whole quarter again!

Let's review...just like we did at the end of last quarter...

I may have scared some people with my cleaver... I know I scared myself. But that was a long time ago and wouldn't explain the recent de-followings :P

After the cleaver, we were all befuddled by the mystery french gadget... anyone ever figure out what the heck that thing is for anyway? I still haven't.

My pathetic, 60-year old eggbeater that was twist-tied together had one reader feeling so sorry for me that she very kindly sent me a new one! Thanks, Catey :)

While the first quarter saw many gadgets that were egg-friendly, this quarter was heavy on the garlic...
The garlic peeler (which was also featured a giveaway), the garlic press and the garlic grater plate.

And we saw several gadgets that will help with summer fruit prep...
The strawberry huller, the cherry pitter and the tomato slicer

I demonstrated the perfect tool to use to serve up those summertime fruit cakes and pies... the cake/pie-slice server.

And when Granny's Gadgets hit 21, we made caipirinhas using our muddler (not to be confused with the longer and more tapered spurtle) while the week before, we saw the odd lemon zester tool in action... helpful for making the perfect martini.

This brings us to the year's halfway mark. I think we should  celebrate our 24 gadgets with a giveaway of a...

that way you can begin or continue your very own gadget collection :)

To enter this giveaway is simple... for a change :)... but you must be a follower of Taking It On and tell me so in a comment (that is all you need to do to enter)... after that you can also do any or all of the following (each of which garners an additional entry):
  1. tell me which gadget video from the last quarter (all are linked above) you liked the most   and/or
  2. which gadget you think would be the most useful to you   and/or
  3. let me know what you think you would get from Williams-Sonoma should you be the lucky winner (click image to link to their website)
  4. link to this giveaway via twitter, facebook or your blog.
The giveaway will run until 7/3/2011 at midnight. The winner will be announced on the Fourth of July! It will be so exciting that there may even be fireworks going off in honor of the announcement :)

So leave your entry comments and share this giveaway with your friends! 

Remember... you've gotta play to WIN!

Disclaimer:  Williams-Sonoma had nothing to do with this giveaway, other than selling me the gift card ;-)  This giveaway is solely a way of thanking gadget-lovers, followers and "likers" for supporting my blog... and trying to find out if anyone is actually paying attention to this mess :P 


While you're here and before you leave... my good friend Sandra who blogs at Absolutely Narcissism is a finalist in a competition for a spot as a permanent blogger over at In The Powder Room. She needs your VOTE! yes, that is singular :) ... just one vote.... one lil' ol' vote for super awesome Sandra! pretty please :)
Here's that extra-easy voting link... click here!


So I lost another two followers.

It was to be expected.

The other day, I did that very same thing... de-followed a couple of blogs.

I follow so many and really want to do a good job of keeping up... which I don't always do. I really want to. I want to read everyone and leave involved comments for everyone and have everyone know how much I appreciate that they are there, putting themselves out there for the world to see. The ones I de-followed were ones with tons of followers already (like over 500) that are mostly giveaways or reviews of baby items (which I no longer need) or ones that have seemed inactive for months. The numbers were just getting a little overwhelming for me.

I was better at this before summer vacation started. Four kids all up in my kool-aid all day long makes it hard. But... ha-HA... I enrolled them all in camp for the next two weeks... except the baby. Here's hoping I'll get back on it :)

I did check, and all the cool people are still here ;-)

Thanks, everyone, for hanging in with me!

In case you missed a few posts over the weekend:

26 June 2011

My killer hiller Sweat My Thorns Off run...

Today I found my area of weakness. In fact, I found two.

  1. running in the sun
  2. running where it's hilly
These didn't used to be my weaknesses, but now they are.

On the schedule for this weekend was an 8-mile run at base pace (between 9:30 and 10:10 per mile for me). As I will be running in that Hood to Coast Relay in a couple of months, I figured it might be time to venture off the compound and try my hand at some hills because that race course is anything but flat.

Further challenging myself, I decided to run the Sweat Your Thorns Off 5K... a virtual race put on by The Boring Runner, Adam... as part of this workout.

I decided on a hilly out-and-back for my race course/long run. I would use the first 4 miles of the 'out' as my warm-up, race (I use that word loosely) the first 3.1 miles of the return and cool down for the final 0.9. I also decided that since our climate isn't so much of a sweaty mess as other participants in the virtual race would be experiencing, I would start my run around 10:30ish, planning to finish right around noon... when the sun would be high in the sky, making me super extra miserable. That part worked.

My warm up went really well... isn't that usually a bad sign? My splits on the way out looked like this:
  • 9:45
  • 9:33
  • 9:23
  • 10:09  (monstrous hill for the last 0.3 miles)
I felt great. But kind of thirsty. I stretched a little. Wished I had brought water. Stretched a little more, and then I was ready.

Me at the start... 4 miles out in the middle of nowhere.
I aimed the camera too high to catch my racing bib... 
but I was
(note that I have on a new shirt...so now I have two)

The picture below is looking back at the "mountain" that I had just run down...
if you click to biggify you can see the road I ran on and some cyclists on it.
This is one half-mile from the start... split was 4:23...
there was a serious 0.3-mile downhill and then it was nearly all uphill for the next 2 miles
(stupid planning on the race director's part :P)

The most neatly-formed cowpie I saw (and I saw many) was found right around the one mile mark...
(this one's for Adam... Poop King and host of the SYTO5K)

I hit this point in 9:19...and did not step in the poop.

Here is looking back at that "mountain" at 1.5 miles from the start...
doesn't look so monstrous because the route was a steady incline up to this point so I am on the same level as the summit...my slowest 1/2-mile split at 4:53... hating life.

If you turned your head the other way, this is what you would see...

Just past the 2-mile marker was the third and last of these...
yes, three of these treacherous cattle guards to contend with... 
the first two were in that nasty, seemingly-unending, nearly-2-mile incline.
Fortunately, the blazing sun and blistering heat kept the cows lolling in the shade and not menacing the road like they usually are.
My second mile time was 9:40... ouch.

Here is the "bathroom" at the 2.2-mile mark...
Luckily, I didn't need to use it today :)

Have you noticed the absence of trees or shade in the previous pictures? 
I finally got a some for 0.2 miles from the 2.2 to the 2.4 ...

There was a little bit of rollingness to the terrain from the shady point on... meaning not all uphill.  But the two-tenths of a mile leading up to the 3-mile point were a steep up...
it never looks as steep as it is...
kind of like how the camera adds 10 lbs... 
it also takes a few percentage points off the grade.

It was brutal.
But I did it.

Clock time:  28:43.25
Avg. pace:  9:16.45

Mile splits were:
52.31 (last 0.1)

Overall, I feel pretty good about it. I really stepped outside my comfort zone... and that is always good!

What I learned today:
  • it is much easier to run fast in the evening... in the dark... than in the heat of the day when the sun is at its zenith.
  • plyo is not a good pre-race workout (remember that last post)
  • vaseline really helps keep my armpit from getting chafed!
  • and so does a Dora band-aid under my boobs.

  • I may actually have sweated my thorns off.

I followed up this madness with even more madness... an ice bath. No pics. Maybe next time ;-)

25 June 2011

Everyone needs to rest at some point...

even non-stop, running babes...

She is just sacked out on the sofa and has been for about 2 hours. Wish I could do that...

Yep, mama is not so lucky as to get a to take a nap, but mama did get to sort of sleep in this morning... nine o'clock :)  Which was a good thing since one o'clock was bedtime :(

I had a workout planned for yesterday that was supposed to take place before my husband went out for poker night. "Let's get the kids to bed early tonight." That is such a joke around here. Anyone else have bedtime woes? I used to be a cracker-jack bedtime nazi. They were in bed by 6:30 (they were littler then) and asleep by 7 p.m. And they woke up with no prodding at 7 a.m. It was awesome.

Last night was typical in its atypicalness... there seems to be no rhythm or flow at night anymore, especially now that it's summer vacation. My husband left, and the kids were finally all in bed around 9ish. I slammed that P90X Plyometrics dvd into the player, beyond eager to do The Mother of all P90X Workouts, and started plyo-ing. Not 5 minutes into it...

"Mom? what are you doing?"
"In bed."
"You look like you're jumping around."
"I am. In bed."
"Are you going to be jumping for very long?"
"Yes. IN. BED."

A second child appears.

"Mom's jumping," first child announces.
"I don't know... mom? why are you jumping?"
"#%*@" (that part was in my head only... it did not escape my lips)
"This is my workout. Get. In. BED!" at which point I hit the 'pause' button and started toward the stairs... and they scattered... diving for cover in their beds.

"Thank you!" I called out. "Iloveyougoodnight."

And then I went back to my jumpingleapingbounding around the living room. It got me breathing hard. It was hot and sweaty and good. After an hour of that, I decided I needed a good stretch, so I shoved the P90X stretching dvd into the player and spent the next 45 minutes stretching.

A P90X double.

After that I was ready for dinner.

Such a bummer that it was midnight. But, yes, I did eat anyway.

P.S. my poker-playing husband came home at 3:45... he was the Big Winner. Woo hoooo :)  And he did take a nap... for about 3 hours! But he also had let me sleep in :)

24 June 2011

Vecchio Venerdì... the Olympian

If you want to know why she looks soooooo excited and happy, it's because she just won for the third time at the 1989 Royal Canadian Henley Regatta. It's super hard to win even just once at this regatta... even if you're really good. And you only medal if you win.

I'm happy... but I only won this one race so I'm just smiling.

Our coach was super annoyed that we didn't take off our awesome tube-sock-tops when we got up to the awards dock... but at least we did take off our groovy headbands.

My excited partner was, and still is, an amazing athlete. I remember when she got her VO2 test results back and they said "the lung capacity of a 7-foot tall man"... something like that anyway. She had the talent and she worked her butt off. Not only did she come to both team practice and row extra in her single on her own, but she would also run from morning practice to work and then back again in the evening. I was lame and biked.

She made the 1996 Olympic team and placed second in her event. She still rows, now in the masters category, and she still kicks everyone's butt. 

What did YOU have for dinner last night?

Before dinner last night I had the opportunity to exercise outside in the daylight. No, I am not a vampire... I just have 4 kids. It is rare that my husband is home to take over with the kids early enough for me to see the light of day when working out. It was so weird. I needed sunglasses.

I was supposed to do some hills according to my new workout plan that awesome Jill helped me out with, but there are no hills right where I live and not enough time to drive to hills and back before the kids needed to go to bed. I was also concerned about the amount of "hard work" I was jumping into affecting my hip. So I improvised.

How to exhaust my legs without banging on my hip? 

Hmmmmmm..... thinking.........

Well, if I ride my bike first...

So that's what I did.

My first no-joke brick. Although the distances might, perhaps, be a joke to some of the triathletes who don't ever read my blog anyway ;-)

I left the compound and went out on the Bay Trail. It was as windy as a bad word. There was a cross-tailwind on the way out ... which, of course, translated into a cross-headwind coming back :(   I rode the bike for 33 minutes.

I need more ballast. I am skinny and weak.

Wind is not my friend. Whose friend is wind... besides sailors and these guys?

When I finished that bike biz, I threw the bike in the garage, threw the helmet at the bike and spent just under 7 minutes changing my entire outfit. I needed running bras and unpadded shorts. And I needed to ditch all of those shirts I wore to keep warm while biking in the wind. Yes, I did put on a new shirt.

I dashed out the door and ran 4.5 miles.

A-hahahhahaha... now I really get it.

I was up to my waist in wet concrete for the first mile or so... yet my footfalls were so loud :P

I ran inside the compound... my 0.75-mile loopy-loops... here are the solid splits for each 0.75-mile lap...

7:21... had to yell at my kid for going "out of bounds" in the neighborhood
7:22... had to "escort" same kid part of the way home for same reason

43:37 for 4.5 miles  (9:42/mile)

I ate that brick for dinner...

from here

Yum. Yum.

What did YOU eat?

23 June 2011


I want to thank all seven people who participated in my giveaway... you all rock and know a good deal when you see one ;-)

The winner of Catch Me If You Can is danny who blogs over at A Quest for Running Perfection. Congrats to you, danny... the smartest running blogger in my blogroll. And the only one who had a really good law-breaking life-experience... that he was willing to share ;-) If you have never visited his blog, you ought to ... he puts such a different twist on things. Going from my blog to his is like going from Twinkies to brown rice and grilled fish with a side of spinach. Go there and you'll see what I mean.

The runner-up prize of that Baby-Ruth-in-the-swimming-pool classic, Caddyshack, goes to Jennifer from Chase-ing the Dream. She is a super smart mom who even reads books!  Someday I will read a book again, too.

So that was the first announcement.

The second one is this...

I want to thank the people at Nuun for realizing that a nun running at noon really needed to be on their team. Yes, I was selected (the crowd cheers), along with a slew of other amazing women bloggers. You can check out the whole list here....

just click on it...

While I am very excited, I am also very nervous. Not so much about the running but about the whole rest of it... What if they hate me? I'm not kidding. You like me... that's why you're here reading this... theoretically. But there really are people who don't like me. I am abrasive and obnoxious. What you get here is a miniscule glimpse into how I am in real life. Scary, right? Soooo... nervous and a little anxious.

The third thing I want to announce is a parent thing... a stay-at-home-parent thing... only they will probably get the magnitude of this announcement.

I just signed my 3 older kids up for camp for two weeks!  Starting Monday! Woooo hooooo! and during their second week, my 2-year old will start preschool two mornings a week!  Woooooo HOOOOOOO!!!!  I know parents always say this... and we mean it.... I love my kids, but I am so looking forward to a little break :)

It'll be like Moms Gone Wild for three and half hours on both July 5th and 7th. Please give me some suggestions of what to do... it has been so long. I am worried that I will just sit in the minivan outside of the preschool, speechless and immobilized by the overwhelming feeling of freedom. And by the time I snap out of it, it'll be too late to do something.

I am thinking... running in the daytime.... oooooooo......

What chafes you?

Inconsiderate drivers really chafe me.

Surly store clerks and rude café baristas.

The incessant whine I hear daily about having dessert... after every. single. meal.... even breakfast. WTH?

People talking during movies... definite chafe.


Six miles chafes me.

Right at six, I get that burning, ut-oh feeling.

I know, nice pit-shot... little 5 o'clock shadow going on there...
and my awesome scar...

Why does this happen?  I know some wiseacre is going to say something about friction and rubbing, but I have really skinny arms. If my muscles were bigger would that help? If my arms were any scrawnier (is that possible?) would that help? Closer shave maybe? And why is it only on the right side? Could I be swinging my arms weirdly when I run? I can't even figure out what it's rubbing against. Nothing? Itself? It really hurts.

I have a chafing issue in another place... sorry, no picture... but I've figured out that a band-aid or even just a piece of tape fixes that one.

This must be where all that body lube stuff comes in handy.

What chafes you?


To celebrate being selected by the Nuun people to participate in their Hood to Coast Relay team, I found another bizarre music video... worth that extra click over to YouTube.  What one has to do with the other, we may never know. But it is more strange than my running nun video...

I swear that wet-faced guy is Rob Lowe.

But I could be wrong.

And while you're taking in Air... hahahhahahahahaahhaha!.... ask yourself the question "why?"

Why what?

I don't know... that's for you to decide.

22 June 2011

Try It Tuesday! .... my first triathlon!

Earlier in the month, Patrick of The Road [A Multi-Sport Blog] tossed out an idea to his readers... plot out a fantasy Ironman Triathlon course "in your corner of the world." Many of the comments praised the course he concocted, but I was the only one who played along. Except for Patrick's bff, Kovas... sort of. But he doesn't count. No one else even tried. Or would that be tri-ed?

And for my course, I was mocked.

First, NattyBumpo from Running Potato made reference to my race being filmed and me wearing a skirt. An even more wise-ass remark immediately followed. You can go find it if you really want to see it... I'll refrain from further comment about these characters vis à vis this situation as this IS a family-friendly blog.

Well... I have been doing a little training and experimenting with barefeet and skirts. You can check out my first B.S. run here, bike here, and swim here. Put them all together and what do you have? You got it! A triathlon :) And I wanted to check out my course idea... in micro form.


The 1st Annual First Day of Summer B.S. MicroTri...

B.S. stands for barefoot/skirt, and it's a MicroTri because it is soooooo short :)  One length of the pool, one block of biking and a half a block of running.

After the kids went to bed... yes, that was pegged :P... I suited up and got ready to go.

Does anyone look good in a swimcap? ANYone?  are you supposed to tuck your ears into the swim cap? And goggles... froggles. But I didn't want a repeat of last time where I stopped twice in the middle of the pool because I didn't know where the frog I was! So goggles it was.

My personal observations as I watched the video...
  • can you believe I made it across the pool this time? goggles really help! 
  • upper body work is in order... I had a hard time hauling my lame butt up and out of the pool.
  • yes, I am wearing a sports bra under my swimsuit... I am not running anywhere without one.
  • got the hair-flip in ;-)
  • my neighbor was in shock ... "what the heck is that weird running lady doing now?"
  • two things at that swim/bike transition... the fat tires stick in the stand and my hip still doesn't allow reckless throwing of the leg up and over the bike seat...
  • nice gut hanging over the skirt waistband :P
  • wonder if those squeeeeeeealy brakes woke anyone up?
  • my feet were so dirty when I finished...

Today, The Studly Runner asked her readers how they were planning on celebrating summer. I was in a funk when I responded. So Marcia... this is how I celebrated summer! My first triathlon... and it was so fun :)

21 June 2011

My little heart-attack...

In addition to her mad passion for running anywhere and everywhere, Miss C also is a jumper.

I gave you all a glimpse of my little daredevil for the first time back in January. And then I showcased her "progress" a few weeks back.

She continues to freak me right the heck out push her limits daily. And now that she is uncontainable, the stairs are her favorite "playground."

She will be jumping out of planes one day...

  • did you see just how much cheesecake I have eaten since Saturday? Before... After...
  • tomorrow I find out if my noon-running nun gets picked by Nuun for their Hood-to-Coast Relay team... I'm on the edge of my seat.
  • I'm running a great giveaway featuring a very fun movie :) nothing like a little mindless fluff...
  • Sunday was Father's Day... mine featured these three guys!
  • in Rockin' the Bump see how incredible the elasticity of human skin is ... well, until it isn't... so no after pics :P

20 June 2011

Granny's Gadgets #24

Who's sick of these videos yet?

Have you been wondering for the past 6 months "Just where did XL get that awesome dishtowel she uses for the table mat in every single gadget video? I want one!" Well, it's from Switzerland... so i don't think you can have one :P We got it to replace our icky dishtowels... but it was so pretty that we never used it!

And yes, that is Granny's plate again... her plate from her wedding in 1950.

I know .... this week's entry may look like a stretch... and I may treat it like it's a stretch... but hey, twenty-four gadgets is a lot of gadgets! We are halfway through the year! And coming into that halfway mark is often one of the slowest parts of a race, right? So a little slack... okay?

Can you believe how much of that cheesecake I've eaten?

Holy cow...

I have speed issues...

speed is relative, of course.

But I like going fast. As fast as whatever conveyance I am using can go.

I wish they would have a Grand Prix race for minivans... or NASVAN (I don't even know what that would stand for)... I would be so all over that. My Italian race car driver skills are sorely wasted and unappreciated tooling around town, in parking lots and at the school carpool lane. Yes, I really am Italian. And I do drive a minivan.

This is one of the reasons biking freaks me out. "Going fast" translates into "falling really hurts."

Going slow frustrates me.

Being slow really frustrates me.

As a runner, I am slow right now, but I still have a hard time not pushing the envelope regarding my abilities. I have got to learn how to rein things in if I am going to survive this half-marathon training.

Last night was my long run. We're at 7 miles at this point. I did it in 67 minutes and 40 seconds. That is a 9:40/mile pace, which was within the correct range... but....

1.5-mile split      14:10    9:27/mile
3.0-mile split      14:12    9:28/mile
4.5-mile split      14:40    9:47/mile
6.0-mile split      14:30    9:40/mile
6.75-mile split      7:11    9:36/mile
last 0.25 miles      2:56    more than 11 minutes/mile

Obviously, I crapped out in the middle there. I went out way too fast. The bad feelings were compounded by the large glass of water I pounded right before leaving the house... a hasty attempt at hydration since I had consumed very little water all day and had dark yellow pee, indicating that, hey, I'd better drink some water! And I shouldn't forget that very small slice of cheesecake I had immediately prior to the water-pounding. Cheesecake is not a good fuel to use for a long run. Even just two bites. Not good.

Do you have any tricks to slow yourself down?
ummmm... no. Unless you count running too fast at first so that you need to slow down :P I need some ideas on this... help!

Have you ever made a fueling mistake... like cheesecake?
ummmm... yes. Cheesecake. Burritos. Chips and salsa. Dr. Pepper.

remember to enter the awesome giveaway in my sidebar   >>>>>>

Mom, you look weird...

that's how my swingin' Saturday night began...

nice... thanks for that confidence boost, fruits of my loins (or is that what you get to say only if you're the dad?)

all because I decided to braid my hair for my stupid bike ride. When I do my normal "wad-the-hair-up-on-top-of-my-head" deal, the helmet is quite uncomfy. Two braids don't get in the way of anything. Except looking good, apparently.

And they had the nerve to say this after I made them a cheesecake...

Butter burned in the bottom of the oven because I forgot to put the dang thing on a cookie sheet... the pan has a leak, clearly.

Hopefully, I won't be eating almost the entire delicious cheesecake by myself, like I did that last one.

I finally went for my little bike-ride... I did 12 laps of 0.6 miles = 7.2 miles in 30 minutes. I did see that baby skunk... totally not in her end of the development... I hope she doesn't come to our house one of these days. And I missed all of the blue bumps... but I did discover that heavily-textured manhole covers are like crotch-land mines... never mind the grenades.

After the ride, it was late. I did the P90X X-Stretch. I think it is the most mellow of the routines in that series. And it's short :)

Eventually I ate dinner. I think that finally happened at about 10:30. 

Then I cut my fingernails...
I like to keep them short.

What wildness were you up to this past weekend?
We just had a mellow Father's Day... no special nothing... not even a card :P I even forgot to make the special guy any dinner... at all!

When was the last time you cut your fingernails?
Clearly, a while ago.

19 June 2011

The Dad Post

My dad was a really young guy... always. Some might say maturity was not his strongest suit. And some might say the apple didn't fall too far from the tree. But he was just about the funnest and most loving man one could ever hope to meet.

He was only 21 when I was born and only 51 when he passed away. You can read more about that here. In those 30 years that I had with him, I always knew I was loved and emotionally supported by him to the nth degree. There was never any doubt about it.

One of the biggest points of sadness in my life is that he never got to see me finally at ease in my life. He didn't get to meet the man who became my husband and the father of my children, his grandchildren. And he never got to play with his grandchildren. He would have been an amazing grandpa... probably an even better grandpa than he was a dad :)

He was just a kid.

My stepdad has gotten to be the awesome grandpa! He was more like a big brother when I was a kid... a big brother who could pull rank!  He is younger than my mom... and she was really young when I was born... so he and I are not all that far apart in age.

He is the most loving and attentive grandpa. 

He will go to great lengths to ensure the kids have fun!

So I have had these two fun-loving guys holding the 'father' image in my mind as I was growing up.
And I am so grateful to have and have had them both in my life!
Happy Father's Day to my awesome dad and stepdad :)

Then, one day...

I met a man who had six children...
He had six children because he loves being a father.

Some might say he was insane for having SIX kids... and some might say I was insane for marrying him.
But I knew that there was something nearly magical about him and something truly special about a big family. And having grown up an only child, perhaps I was a little delusional and insane...


love is blind.

Here he is with his seventh (our first)... Big G.

He adores babies...

and they adore him.

Teaching his boy to be a manly man :P

His eighth child... Baby X...
like putty in daddy's arms.

 Q-Man was his ninth child ... and his fifth son... 
he has his eyes.

Still smiling with ten kids!

As the older kids grew up and went out on their own, it became increasingly difficult to get a 'family' shot... this is so old and, sadly, is one of the most recent...
My favorite father with eight of his children
Christmas in Paris, 2002.

Happy Father's Day to my favorite fathers!

with love,



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