Friday, February 22, 2008

I'm Not Myself Lately

Warning: I'm going to whine. So if you're not up to YET MORE OF THAT, please move right along.

For the rest of you, an update:

Maybe it's from being sick for a week, or from missing a week of workouts, or from being too sick and tired to go to the grocery store. Or maybe I'm just old. Maybe it's that I felt particularly under-appreciated this week. And sometimes? I just felt freakin' stupid. (And you know what Eleanor Roosevelt said about that. So then I felt bad about feeling inferior!)

I don't know. I don't feel like myself.

This has probably been my longest break from working out since I started, what, three years ago? I ran 10 miles last Saturday, then went to spin class on Thursday, and that's been it. Physically, I'm pretty much cured from my bronchitis, so I went back to work Monday. But I feel sick in my psyche—or my soul, if you're so inclined.

I don't feel like an athlete. I don't feel like working out anymore. What I feel like is giving up, rolling over, curling up and reading, and acting my age.

Which is kind of a problem when you're starting to train for a tri, and have a half-mary in four weeks.

I'm hoping this is just a phase—but just in case, it's scaring me enough to have FINALLY forced me to make an appointment with my girly-girl doc.

In the meantime, for you new readerS who don't know me and don't realize how entertaining I can, on occasion, be, I invite you to take a gander at this and this and this. And this was kinda fun.

Oh, ok, there was this (still looking, btw).

And of course, who could forget this? (Not I. Not ever.)

Maybe y'all can vote for your favorites.

Or maybe I should just HTFU, as Rainmaker would likely remind me.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Running With Drugs

I am still sick.

My head hurts. I think I have a wee touch of bronchitis.

I was going to drag myself to the doctors today, but I didn't feel good enough. Seriously, doesn't that just kill you that when you're so sick, you can't bear the thought of getting to the doctors? Oh for the days of the home visit.

In running news:

I ran on a treadmill at the YMCA Thursday night, sick. I've been a member of my local Y on and off for several years and had NEVER set foot in the Room of Machines.

Do you people realize that there are now TREADMILLS WITH TELEVISIONS ATTACHED???? Who knew??

Talk about your headphone debate. I ran five fast miles watching "Father of the Bride," (this one is better) and I didn't want to get off. It's only a matter of time until someone invents a TV that fits on a watch...


I guess it's OK if you watch TV while you run, as long as YOU DON'T WEAR HEADPHONES.

Friday I worked from home to avoid spreading my germs. This morning I had 12 miles on the schedule. Since I had skipped last week's run, I felt pressure to get out there. So I did. It was 30F, and we met at Haine's Point, for a run through Rock Creek Park. I cleverly took an antihistamine beforehand. (I know. Don't even bother telling me.) But in case you ever think about taking cold medicine and then running? Don't.

Do you ever go out for a run and immediately just KNOW it's going to suck? So, after the first step, I knew this was not going to be fun. My legs felt like cement. There were six of us, and by mile 3, the other five were but dots in the far, far distance. I got slower and slower. Thank God I had my iPod with me. Cuz no amount of nature was going to distract me from the fact that my nose was running faster than I was. My hands were so cold, I couldn't get my tissues out of my pocket. It was GROSS!

But I wasn't coughing too much.

I got to about mile 5, and had totally lost my group. So I turned back.

Ten miles in the bank, and the rest of the day on the couch, coughing.

I really need to read more.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Recipe o' the Week

Take loose tea. (preferably English Breakfast)

Put in teapot.

Boil water (preferably in electric kettle, because you are too inpatient for stovetop tea kettle).

Pour water in teapot.

Let steep.

Pour scalding water on your hand by mistake.

Feel sorry for self the rest of the day.

The end.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

I'm Sick

I blame everyone.

I'm achy, my eyes are watery, and i'm coughing up pieces of my lung. I'm kind of convinced that Tuesday's swim (1250 yards!) contributed because I'm pretty sure I inhaled half the pool.

Then of course it rained and iced over on Tuesday night, which naturally led to my falling on my...knees. I don't think I know how to fall any other way. It's amazing my knees haven't told me they are SO. DONE. WITH. THE. FALLING.

So that was fun.

What was fun was that Old School Runner invited me to a fancy pants Chinese New Year's Party, held by the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office (they don't have an embassy, for obvious reasons), at the spectacular National Building Museum which was great fun, but when I had the chance to meet the Hong Kong(ian?) commissioner, I blew it off. Like I meet these kind of people every day. Sigh. OSR informed me it was the Year of the Rat (this is good, I think), I ate gobs of food, and we watched a traditional Chinese dragon line dance. Thanks, OSR!

What WAS also fun was last Saturday, when I blew off my 11-mile long run to travel to Philly to extend my birthday by spending it with Number One Daughter and friends. I splurged and took the $1/minute Amtrak. I lurrrve the train, pricey as it is. Especially the quiet car. Especially on Saturdays.

We had a lovely brunch with these fellows:
ummm, french toast!

Followed by a tour of the Philly Art Museum:
Diana, Goddess of the Hunt (rescued from the top of the old Madison Square Garden building, where she served as weathervane!

Did you know there's an entire recreated Japanese teahouse inside the "Rocky" museum? Me neither.

Followed by a movie (The Savages, stellar cast, but skip it):

Followed by Someone collapsing in a heap:

Followed by a relaxing train ride home.

So now I've missed my mid-week run, I have a banged up knee, and 12 miles to run on Saturday.

But I'm keeping my sunny disposition, as usual.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

A Paean to LBTEPA

It's not fair.

LPTEPA, the bestest triathlete downunder, wrote a post just for moi (although you are welcome to read it, and learn). And then, once AGAIN, she CALLED ME—from AUSTRALIA—to wish me happy birthday! And once again, she had to e-mail and facebook me three times to tell me to LISTEN TO MY DAMN VOICE MAIL! (Cuz I'm not so good at the voice mail thing. Hi David!)

The good news? I finally learned how to pronounce LBTEPA.

But what's sooo unfair is that it was just HER birthday too, and I don't have her phone number. (Though she declines to put her birth date on her facebook profile, somehow she let it slip out.)

Unfortunately, I haven't got her mad supersleuth skills, despite rooting around her blog for clues as to where in the hell she lives, other than the quaint village of Melbourne.

How far, for instance, is Williamstown from Melbourne? How about Portarlington?? Because those are places where she has kicked some serious butt. (Third place!!!!)

After plotting longitude and latitude, getting out the slide rule, consulting the compass, and the sundial, I concluded that there are a LOT of LBTEPAs living in Melbourne and environs.

There are many reasons that I wanted to call LBTEPA, not just because she called me.

This is a woman who in June 2007 persevered through a broken lateral ligament

then through rehab, and by September was back running. And along the way she tossed together a thesis—all without complaint! (OK, maybe she complains a bit.) She likes to make lists. On top of that she is the proud mother of a gorgeous little girl (somehow named after my little girl), has a swell husband, and has taken more time than she should have trying to help me figure out my life.

Oh, and the woman has her own manifesto. That she created. By herself.

And in her spare time, she's an accomplished, and successful triathlon activist.

So here's to you, LBTEPA! Someday I will hunt down your phone number and you'll get a call in the middle of the night wishing you the happiest of happy birthday years ever, and letting you know how lucky I feel to call you my friend. Mi casa es su casa.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Triathlon Dream

I just had the equivalent of the showing-up-for-your-final-exam-naked dream.

Triathlon day coincided with Number One Daughter's graduation day (it doesn't), so I went to pack her up.

Then it was time for the swim. I spent the dream running around trying to find the start, only to discover it was in the ocean and required jumping from a pier. And I'd forgotten my goggles.

Oh, and my bike.

It was terrifying.

More good birthday stuff: Someone sent me roses—at work!! (Tip to anyone contemplating sending anyone roses: ALWAYS send them to work. It gets people talking.)

Real-life triathlon update:

My birthday night (Feb 7, for anyone left on the planet who I didn't already tell), was the night of the DC Triathlon's Happy Hour for the New Triathletes Program. It was, funnily enough, held in a bar.

I seriously hate bars, but the only thing I hate more than bars is trying to meet people in bars. But I went, screamed my head off because it was so loud you couldn't hear yourself think, and met a few people with even less experience than me, so that was good.

Today, I am off to Philadelphia for the day to have brunch with NOD and generally fool around. I'm taking the train, so, so far, my birthday has only cost me $120!

(Good luck tomorrow Eileen!)

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Recipe o' the Week: Dinner for One!

If I keep this up, I might actually get the hang of cooking. (D.C. Rainmaker (scroll down for food p0rn) and I are going all Top Chef. Somehow? I think he's winning.)

On tonight's menu:

1. Roasted broccoli with pecans

2. Risotto with porcini mushrooms

3. Tilapia with pico de gallo

Roasted broccoli with pecans (From Real Simple (which in this case lives up to its name), October 2007, p. 345)

some amount of broccoli, stems and florets

1/4 cup olive oil (more or less, depending)

1/4 cup pecans (more or less)

Kosher or sea salt
Heat oven to 400F

Combine all ingredients in a recyclable-friendly plastic bag. Shake.

Spread broccoli in baking pan.

Roast til tender, stirring once or twice, 20 minutes or so.



Risotto with porcini mushrooms

Buy risotto mix.

Buy dry porcini mushrooms. (You kind of have to do this because otherwise it might not actually qualify as "cooking," due to use of risotto mix.)

Reconstitute mushrooms. Combine leftover liquid from mushrooms with whatever other liquids you are using to make risotto (I used soy milk).

Add reconstituted mushrooms.

Follow package directions!

Voila! Risotto in 20 minutes.

Roasted broccoli, risotto with porcini mushrooms. Cherries bringing up the rear. Obviously I am not a food stylist and the RISOTTO TASTES BETTER THAN IT LOOKS! I swear!


Tilapia with pico de gallo

OK, this is just inspired.

I'm sitting on my couch, ABOUT to transfer some pico de gallo on a tortilla chip into my mouth, when I stop, and drop.

Move to kitchen.

Open tilapia filets (fresh!)

Put in microwave-safe dish.

Sprinkle with Krazy Jane's Mixed Up Salt, and a few bread crumbs.

Pour remainder of pico de gallo on top of fillets.

Cover with saran wrap, or if you are out of any saran-wrap-like substance, as in my case, cut up some small plastic bags and try to cover dish with them.

Nuke for 5 minutes.
Tilapia with pico de gallo
You are so done! With a CHERRY ON TOP!

Monday, February 04, 2008

Come Fly With Me

For an early birthday present, the BEST DAUGHTER EVER made me THIS! I could watch this all day long!

(Click on all the buttons. Sinatra sings, I run, things happen!)

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Ride, Sally, Ride


The New Triathles Program (NTP) 2008 closed in a record 35 minutes! To those that we were unable to register, we apologize and hope that you intend to become active in the general membership of DC Tri. We have countless opportunities to help you get through your first triathlon and hope that you will still plan to register for the NJ State Triathlon and join us as we go for our fourth consecutive USAT Mid-Atlantic Club Championship!

February 1, Friday morning, 8:50 a.m.: I should have been ensconced in a training room deep in the bowels of the Washington Hilton Hotel, learning all the ins-and-outs of Day Two of Project Management. Instead, I sat in my office, fingers hovering over the keyboard, waiting for NTP to open. As the clock ticked toward 9:00 a.m., I loaded and reloaded the page, not wanting to miss my opportunity (which, as you know, only knocks once). The minute I saw the NTP Program on the sign-up page, I pounced, filled out all the info...and MADE IT IN!

(I didn't miss anything at the PM class btw. In fact, I made it there by 9:05. Just in case anyone is wondering.)

But the point is: I'm IN!

So today, Sunday, the day after Saturday, the day of my long run, in which I manage to get increasingly slower week after week (yesterday--10 miles, 1:54), after having eaten three donuts at church, coming home to my disheveled apartment, and trying to decide between cleaning up, buying groceries or doing the laundry, I looked out the window at a beautiful sunny sky with 55F, and instead decided to check out the warm-up plan (that's the plan you follow for the month before you start the actual triathlon plan) and discovered today was 50 minutes on the bike, followed by a 10-minute run.

Pfft! A 10-minute run! You're making me laugh!

So I flung myself and some gear into the car to drive to work, because that's where the bike, and come to think of it, the trail, are.

Twenty minutes later I was riding mustang sally. For 50 minutes. I'm sure I've got every part of that bike set at some weird angle, since my knee hurt and my back was killing me. Anyway, I did 9 miles in 50 minutes, so that's what I like about the bike. When's the last time you heard me say I did NINE MILES IN 50 MINUTES??

I was sailing past all those runners. Ha! Until I had to turn around and realized, for the millionth time, that this trail is DOWNHILL ONE WAY. Which means: UPHILL THE OTHER WAY.

My favorite part was going up the River Road bridge, and flying down the other side, where there were some walkers coming towards me. Ambling. On my side of the trail. One was a kid of about 17, holding a coffee cup, staring straight at me. Since he was staring at me, I made the foolish mistake of thinking that he SAW ME. No movement on his part reflected that any such impression had indeed been made. So I did what anyone would do. I screamed, "Moooooooooove!!!" at the top of my voice.

That worked.

I made it back to work, parked the bike and headed back up to the trail for a 10-minute run.

Holy freakin' hell.

Who invented this?? I'd heard about "wobbly legs" off the bike, etc., but geeeze! Imagine running with giant cement blocks on your feet instead of running shoes. That's what hopping off a bike and trying to run feels like. Kids riding Big Wheels were passing me. Old ladies with walkers and oxygen tanks. You get the picture.

I managed one mile in 10:17, but all I can say is: I'm really gonna give new meaning to the word "SPRINT" on June 21.