Thursday, December 31, 2009

Year in Review (Thursday 13)


January – Ran my first 20 mile. Also had a wonderful trip to Colorado with Dude (pic) to do some skiing and snowshoeing.




February – First marathon and Jason and I ran every step (pic). We did miss the 5-hour goal by 3 minutes but c'est la vie. Most important though, there was a new addition to my family. Penny arrived on 7 Feb at just over 18 pounds (pic).

March – Big training month and finally back to riding outdoors (pic). Unfortunately the weather never agreed so the riding was miserable (you can't tell in the pic but it was cold). I also started getting a sport massages every other week and bought a bunch of gear during March!

April – Race season has begun - Cherry Blossom 10 miler (pic) and Rumpass in the Bumpass (still the best named triathlon) – had a blast on the Olympic relay, serious fail with the sprint. This was not the best training month in terms of performance but I got it done.

May – First 70.3…and I got injured (pic). YIKES! Took some down time, then eased back into training. In other news – I planned and arranged our post Ironman vacation to Lake Como, Italy.

June – Second 70.3 and it was Awesome! (Sang in a high pitched voice) (pic). Then came the final long days of training and the expected angst leading up to race day. That angst turned into an odd calm as THE day got closer.


July – I AM AN IRONMAN!
Oh, and I had a fabulous vacation to Lake Como (pic).




August - Basked in the glow of being an IRONMAN. Also did some local exploring and found some incredible places. Due to those finds, I cooked a lot this month (pic). Dude and I also went to Pennsylvania for a Metric Century and I even managed to get some marathon training in.

September – Two firsts this month – my first Olympic distance tri (other two I participated in either cut the swim or turned into Duo) and my first 10K run. Decided not to do Marine Corp marathon. Highlight of the month was going home and hangin' with my highschool friends (pic).



October – PID set in…BAD! Barely trained, hell, I barely exercised. I also cut out a lot of socializing. I injured my jaw and I think I spent most of the month in pain and depressed.

November – PID still there - Depression sucks!! Managing to do some exercising on my own and a little bit of socializing. On the positive side, Dude and I have decided to buy a house together – but it will be awhile until we are living in sin - must sell two places before buying one.


December – Typical in that there were a lot of parties (pic), socializing, eating and not a lot of exercising. Developed my New Plan. Had a massive snowstorm on my birthday weekend. Celebrated Christmas with Dude and his family. And am planning a quiet evening to bring in the New Year.



Plans for 2010 are in the works. Continuing with “The Plan”, increase training with Team Z, a couple races, selling/buying a house, try to squeeze a vacation in, work on 101 in 1001, and enjoying the happiness I’ve found with Dude.

I wish everyone a safe and Happy New Year!

Bring it 2010!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Last Minute Gifts / Early Thursday Thirteen

In case you were looking for a last minute gift for me here's my wish list...

1. Team Z Sweatshirt - Large with ES embroidered on the arm.

2. Entry into Ironman Florida 70.3

3. Thing so I can connect my iPod (Shuffle) to my car stereo

4. Open Kitchen Gift Cards

5. Gift Card to Jouvance Spa in Reston

6. This triathlon bracelet

7. Ski vacation to Colorado

8. $343.10 - One year supply of 7-11 Coffee

9. Borders and/or iTunes Gift Card

10. Winning Mega-Millions Lotto Ticket

11. Yoga Classes

12. World Peace

13. Well wishes for an incredible 2010!

You'll notice the lack of tri-gear. I guess the good news is after training for and completing an Ironman, I am all stocked up on gear.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

T-H-I-R-T-E-E-N


1. I’ve become addicted to this game called Bananagrams. It’s basically Scrabble without the board. And you create your own words and can take them apart to reuse letters. And there are no points – you either win or lose.


2. I got called out on my last post about my weight. Let me go on record to say that I know I’m not fat or overweight. It is an obsession of mine though for a number of reasons. Mostly because less then four years ago I was pushing 170 pounds which is a healthy weight if I was over 6’ but I’m only 5’7”. I have this irrational fear that I’ll wake up tomorrow and be back up there.

3. If anyone wants to know how to get up to 170 pounds it entails a bad marriage, travelling for work over 50% of the time, and a (un)healthy dose of cheeseburgers and wine.

4. To lose the weight took eating less and exercising more. I also got out of the marriage and changed jobs but the eating less and exercising more are what truly made the weight come off.

5. I’ve worked out every night this week - ran Monday, swam Tuesday, and ran/did speed work last night, spin class tonight. Woot!

6. I swam on my own and in the same amount of time of practice I managed to put in an additional 500m. Holy sore arms and back! I’m not sure the additional meters is a result of not chit-chatting between sets or that I had nobody to pace off of so I was going a little faster.

7. My Christmas spirit is missing. Still no decorations up (at either house), no cards sent, and the gifts I’ve bought are kind of lame and predictable. Usually I do a lot better!

8. I thought I had some people interested in my house but they decided against it. It’s officially going to be on the market at the beginning of the year – I just don’t have the time/energy right now to finish fixing what needs to be fixed and doing that “big clean”. New Year’s Day is always my alone day (Anniversary of my Dad’s death) so I’ll get some good cleaning in that day.

9. I have a craving for Korean food but I don’t know anyone else that likes it. Anyone? Anyone?

10. Work seems to be crammed full of non-stop…work! Spreadsheet after spreadsheet yet I feel like I’m getting NOTHING done!

11. I miss having parties. I use to throw two a year – a Mexican Fiesta in late Spring and a Wine Tasting at Christmas. Since moving here I’ve thrown one. Why is that?!

12. I need a vacation!!!!!!

13. Unless something amazing happens between now and Sunday, the next time I blog I will be 38 years old. That’s almost 40!!! How did that happen?!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

New Plan

If you’ve noticed in the past couple months I have been aimlessly getting by when it comes to fitness. I’ve been blaming it on PID (Post Ironman Depression) but I believe it boils down to I’m not working towards anything.

Motivational Failures:
- Marine Corp Marathon – I was still injured and it was too much after IMS
- Training for the Shamrock 13.1 - after last years uber-exercising 13.1 miles is JUST 13.1 miles (I’m still doing it, it’s just not a strong enough focus)
- Worrying about my weight – it’s just depressing and makes me want to eat more

So in looking back at what got me to/through Ironman (other then the debilitating fear) what kept me motivated was #32 in my 101 in 1001 – money towards Finisher Gear (which, by the way, I only spent ½ of what I had earned).

Apparently, my career in finances has rubbed off and it’s all about money. So here’s my new plan:

Starting on 14 December, for every workout I finish I put $5 in the coffer (ok, I document it in a spreadsheet). Next year, on 13 December, that money will be used to buy myself either a really BIG gift or a substantially smaller one.

The missing piece to this plan is still a goal though. You see, I’m one of those people that rarely ever WANTS anything. And on those rare occasions when I do, well, quite honestly, I’ll just go get it. For this to work I think I need to be able to say, "The money is going to go towards…"

- a long ski weekend vacation for Dude and I ($1,000) = ~4 workouts a week
- cooking class once a month ($1,200) = ~5 workouts a week
- a spa day every other month ($1,500) = ~ 6 workouts a week
- a cycling vacation($2,000) = ~8 workouts a week

What should it be? Then again, perhaps it will be more fun to keep an on-going list...

Thursday, December 3, 2009

13 - Should be 39 Since It's Been 3 Weeks!

1. It’s been 3 weeks since I posted…did you miss me? Actually a lot (by a lot, I mean not much) has been going on I just haven’t had time to share.

2. Working out update: I did...
- An 8-mile running time trial a couple weeks ago. It was great – negative split by over 5 minutes and my last mile was at a 9:40 pace (shut up all you speed demons out there).
- Swim practice twice. I vowed to go once a week but I missed this week…and last week.
- Rode for two hours – easy going.
- A Thirsty Thursday Turkey Trot – Drink a beer, run a quarter mile, repeat 3 more times. My time was 16:40 – first beer/quarter mile in less then two minutes; last beer/quarter mile 5 minutes 40 seconds.
- Some miscellaneous trips to the gym, and
- A 4-mile hike with close to 800 ft of elevation gain.

3. Have I ever mentioned that I love Thanksgiving? Well, this year I was lucky enough to celebrate twice. I cooked for some friends on Thursday (and other then the green beans it was fabulous) then we spent the weekend in Shenandoah and had a second Thanksgiving. Mmm, mmm good!

4. Weight – 21 days since the last post, 6 workouts, 2 Thanksgiving dinners, 1 Wine and Food pairing dinner, and 2 Happy Hours. I don’t want to talk about my weight!

5. House should be going on the market within a week. I waffled between selling and renting and after getting another notification about an increase in HOA dues I just want OUT!

6. I’m so proud of Dude – this Saturday he is getting promoted to Purple Belt in Jiu-Jitsu! YEAH!

7. I wonder what belt I’d be if triathlon had a Belt System. What would it be based on? Different Belts for different distances? Ability? Years experience? Speed?

8. I wish Coach Ed would post next years race schedule so I can figure out my plans. Doesn’t he know it’s All About ME!

9. I am finally getting a hair cut tomorrow – at least 3 inches off! I have never had hair this long and it is driving me CRAZY! (But I still like having it long)

10. This time of the year I really miss Colorado. A couple reasons – the snow, the skiing but mostly because I miss my friend Linda. I have friends out here but (aside from Dude) none that I am as close to. I just really miss having a “girlfriend”!

11. I have NO IDEA what to get Dude for Christmas. On the other hand, I have no idea what I want/need either. ***I’d like for us to give each other a trip out to Colorado!!!***

12. UGH! I should have stuck with my Lean Cuisine for lunch. Skipped it and went and grabbed a turkey wrap from the café. Holy Upset Tummy!

13. I managed to avoid the Croc craze because, well, I like cute shoes (especially heels) and those are just UGLY! Now, I’ve been reading about those Vibram shoes and I start thinking, hmm, I like being barefoot these might be cool. But then I look at them and I have to back to I like cute shoes (especially heels) and those are just UGLY!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

13

1. Middle of the week holidays RULE! Happy Veteran's Day yesterday to all those who are serving/have served.

2. Work is busy so exercising, sleeping, and quality time has gone to the wayside.

3. But because I had to be at work by 0730 I decided to go to swim practice this morning. Yep, you heard me right, swim practice...at 0530. And today is the day the coach decided to video tape me and critique my stroke. Um, hello, this was my first day back after a four month break. I'm more concerned with survival then stroke technique. (But I did notice the increased speed once I corrected to what use to be natural)

4. I forgot the side effects of morning swim - goggle wrinkles for half the day, starving ALL DAY LONG, and the joy of a neon red left eye. Oh, and I am exhausted!

5. I seem to have hurt my right knee by sitting on my ass for 8-hours. A couple weeks ago when we went to Williamsburg I spent Sunday working on my laptop in front of the TV. Something about the way I had my leg, I pulled the tendons behind my knee. But, after months of PT for IMS I apparently learned something. I am doing the same exercises, taking the same OTC pills, and doing the same icing of the leg and it seems to be healing.

6. Oh, I forgot to mention my temporary wading pool. I got a call from my neighbor at around 0700 on Monday morning saying there was water leaking from my garage door. Hmmmmmmmm..... My water heater faucet completely broke off and by the time I got home my single car garage had about four inches of water built up. So, 8 hours and $900 later I am the proud owner of a new water heater (thanks Lowe's) and a clean/organized garage (thanks Dude).

7. Lesson learned from #6 - Give your neighbors your contact information! If I hadn't done that (just this summer) I wouldn't have known about the leak for a good 12 hours. Imagine the damage (and the water bill)!!!

8. Looks like everyone from Team Z had a great race in FL (and Holly is now an Ironman after her Beach 2 Battleship (B2B) race). It was fun tracking them on-line and there were some fast times - I still think if I do another Ironman sanctioned Full Ironman it will be FL (or Arizona).

9. Thanksgiving menu is ALMOST finalized. So far we are having 7 people over, possibly 9.

10. Men Who Stare at Goats = GOOD (and not just because they show George Clooney's naked arse). Where the Wild Things Are = BAD (and not because it's a kids movie - it was just depressing and seemed to reinforce bad behavior)

11. I made an incredible Rachel Ray recipe of Pasta with Pumpkin & Sausage (Cook 101 #23) on Friday night. By incredible I mean 4/4 FRC's. The only changes I made from the link are used spicy Italian turkey sausage instead of sweet Italian, used light cream instead of heavy cream. I served this on its own and it was quite filling. And did I mention incredible?


12. I met with a realtor about my townhouse. It seems I was overestimating the market. It looks like I can break even once all the fees are paid. I'm now seriously considering is renting it out. I can definitely cover my mortgage and I know having a rental is a great tax benefit.

13. I can't believe 2009 is almost over. Where'd it go?

Thursday, November 5, 2009

I'm Back - Even if it is just for Thursday 13

1. I’ve become one of those “bad bloggers”. If it makes you feel better I no longer update my Facebook status daily either. Yes, I know, I suck.

2. I’m kinda-sorta getting back on track with training. OK, now I’m just a liar! But I do try to do at least 2 workouts a week. Yes, I know, I suck.

3. This weekend is Ironman FL and Beach 2 Battleship Iron-Distance Race. Team Z has quite a few folks out there racing. Best of luck to everyone but most of all to my blogging friends Cat (FL) and Holly (B2B).

4. I finally got a new boss at work. YEAH!

5. It is officially 5-days after Halloween and I have not had one piece of candy. While that’s good on the fat-front, I’d really like a baby Twix!

6. I took a Classic Tuscan Dinner cooking class last night at Open Kitchen (my new fave place). It was pretty damn awesome – no earth-shattering new knowledge gained but I did learn some knife handling skills and got some great recipes. Now that I have the recipes I have to host a dinner party!

7. Did I mention Dude and I are buying a house together? No?! My bad! Of course this entails selling two townhouses so it may be awhile until we officially start living in sin.



8. Thanksgiving is coming! Thanksgiving is coming!

9. Pet Peeve alert: I hate, hate, HATE when people back into their parking spot. What’s the point??????

10. Congratulations shout out to blogger Running Fool for PR-ing the NYC marathon this past weekend! Rock on Lady Fool!

11. Speaking of marathons I’m kind of thinking about upgrading my Virginia Beach Half to the Full marathon. See, I just can’t get excited about 13.1 miles and I can’t convince myself to go train. Whenever I think about it I just think “it’s JUST 13 miles”. I signed up for the half because I want to work on getting my speed back but all I’ve done so far is found my way to the sofa. Should I take the plunge and upgrade to the full?

12. If you haven’t been to an amusement park lately I recommend it - gives you a chance to act like a kid again. Check out peopleofwalmart.com before you go because I guarantee you will see some of these people while waiting in the lines!

13. This weekend’s plans: 10 mile run, work on both houses so they can be put on the market, bike (?), finalize Thanksgiving menu, work, cyber stalk IM-Florida peeps, do some cooking, and find a couple moments to just relax.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Cutest Blog On The Block

So something happened to the last blog background that I had so I did a quick search and found this super cool Triathlon inspired background at The Cutest Blog on the Block!!!

It's official, I DO have the CUTEST BLOG ON THE BLOCK!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Thirteen

1. My jaw is getting better. Headache has essentially subsided - it only hurts after chewing but I got quickly got tired of the soft diet.

2. Weekly Fall is the Best Season Remark: Sandals are put away for the next 6-months. No more obsessing over cracked heels (I do still get my pedi’s, I just don’t worry about what my “ugly runner’s feet” look like)

3. I’ve worked out TWICE this week (after nothing last week, or the week before, or…). Granted it is still transition time so those workouts were 40 minute spin, 45 minute run. And tonight will be another 40 minute spin. This weekend will be an hour run and a two hour bike ride (weather permitting).

4. I’m 37 years old and I still feel like a little girl playing dress up when I have to wear a business suit to work.




5. While I was laid up with the Worst Headache Known To Man I managed to finish two of the books I was reading and have started another. I also watched 4 movies, way too much Food Network, and almost caught up on my DVR shows.

6. I did not win the chili contest. I was robbed! The guy that did win said he actually voted for mine, as did another person that entered a chili. Oh well – I tasted all of the entries and there were some good ones but I think mine was the best.

7. Here are pictures from my cubicle contest (also did not win) of my Team Z paraphernalia. I did get asked a couple times “what’s Team 2”?



8. The guy in the cubicle next to me has his (annoying) cell phone ringer on AND an alert that goes off every 5 minutes when he has a voice mail. And he’s never at his desk…BEEP!

9. I wore my contacts for the first time in a LONG time yesterday and I loved them until about 4:30. Dry, itchy eyes - drops would be a good idea.

10. I re-read my Ironman Race Report last night…and got teary eyed remembering that AWESOME day! This is still my favorite picture...look how happy I am coming to the finish line!

11. BEEP!

12. I haven’t mentioned it lately, but Dude is the greatest! *SIGH*

13. I just realized I have my (annoying) cell phone ringer ON and I’m rarely at my desk. At least it doesn’t beep when I have VM! (And people rarely call me)

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Jaw Update

Not broken, cracked, displaced, or fractured. I have a Hemotoma - otherwise known as a bruise.

What does bruising cause??

Swelling for one. An excruciating headache for another. Additionally, the jaw hinge is set rather close to the ear canal (5mm) - hence the hearing thru a vacuum that I'm experiencing. It's also against the sinuses - hence the headache/sinus pressure. The sinuses are against the eye socket - hence the feeling of "droopy eye".

I'm on steroids now to help bring down the swelling. It took almost 24 hours for me to convince myself to take them since I tend to get "puffy" when I'm on the 'roids. And considering I haven't exercised in, well, oh let's just say a very long time, puffiness is imminent.

I'm also on 800mg Motrin for the pain. Want to know what that does to me? It makes me clench my teeth which is the opposite of what I need to do! So I'm not taking it very often and when I do I have to make the concerted effort to not clench.

Eventually I'll be fitted for a night mouth guard to prevent grinding/clenching. Yeah, I know, uber-sexy! I wonder if it comes with a floor length flannel night gown.

Hopefully, fingers-crossed, rub the lucky rabbit foot, the 'roids will kick in, the swelling will dissipate and I'll be back to my jolly self in no time.

In the meantime, (I SWEAR I'm going to the gym after work tonight)

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Day Three

Of the worst headache known to man.

I told you how my jaw was out of alignment. I went to the Doctor on Friday and was told it wasn't displaced probably just some swelling. She prescribed prescription strength Naproxin and recommended ice packs. In two words: NOT HELPING.

I'm not a Doctor but I watch A LOT of them on TV. Seriously, I was a huge ER fan in it's hey-day. I don't miss Grey's Anatomy. I even occasionally watch House. Between that and my unlimited access to the internet I have diagnosed myself with a Temporomandibular disorders (TMD).

The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is the hinge joint that connects the lower jaw (mandible) to the temporal bone of the skull. Temporomandibular disorders (TMD) occur as a result of problems with the jaw, jaw joint, and surrounding facial muscles that control chewing and moving the jaw.

Common symptoms of TMD include (I've bolded my issues):
Pain or tenderness in the face, jaw joint area, neck and shoulders, and in or around the ear when you chew, speak or open your mouth wide
Limited ability to open the mouth very wide
Jaws that get "stuck" or "lock" in the open- or closed-mouth position
Clicking, popping, or grating sounds in the jaw joint when opening or closing the mouth (which may or may not be accompanied by pain)
A tired feeling in the face
Difficulty chewing or a sudden uncomfortable bite as if the upper and lower teeth are not fitting together properly
Swelling on the side of the face
Other common symptoms include toothaches, headaches, neck aches, dizziness, earaches and hearing problems.

So tomorrow I'm making an appointment with my dentist.

For now though, I need to get out of this house! I hurt but I am BORED!!!!!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Thursday Thirteen

1. I’m going to VEGAS BABY!!! OK, not until April 9th but still! Girl’s Weekend with my BFF, her cool sister, and another friend. None of us are gamblers so it will be a weekend filled with food, drinks, shopping, and shows.



2. I’m getting a flu shot today for the first time since 1998. It’s free and I’m a sucker for free.

3. Speaking of suckers, I hope they give me a lollipop when they’re done shooting me (or at least a sticker).

4. I’m transitioning back to training with Team Z. Perfect timing since they are on transition for the next two weeks. This week’s exercise consists of a total of 50 minutes of running and 90 minutes of biking (and two swims that I skipped –still working on the 5am motivation).

5. REPLY ALL should be outlawed!!!!!

6. I’m on a serious reading kick - not reading serious books just A LOT of reading. And I’m capable of reading multiple books at one time so right now I’m reading Jody Picoult’s Handle with Care (my 4th book of hers this year), Vince Flynn’s Memorial Day (6th book of his this year), Patricia Cornwell’s Scarpetta, a chic-lit that I can’t remember the name of, and a business book.

7. I just entered a chili contest for TOMORROW. Guess I should find a recipe!


8. In addition to the chili contest they are having an office decoration contest with your favorite team memorabilia. I think they mean football team but I’m thinking of covering my cubicle with all of my Team Z stuff. It is the best team ever and they NEVER lose!!!

9. The grocery store near my house that it would be CUTE to have mini shopping carts for the kids. GREAT IDEA! Nothing says positive shopping experience like being stuck behind a toddling rug-rat in an already crowded aisle while the parent follows behind with the blissful "my child is so adorable" look on their face.

10. I’m going to a Wine and Food Pairing Dinner on 21 October. Check out the link to see the menu! Sounds De-Lish!

11. Remember last week when the F-ing Economy was ruining my plans?! Well, I'm looking into other options so hopefully this will still work out. And don't worry, whether I'm financially a part of it or not, when the time is right you will hear ALL about it!

12. My jaw is out of alignment so I'm living with grinding/popping when I open my mouth, inability to yawn (it hurts), pain when chewing and a constant headache. I can't go to the doctor until next week though.

13. Is there a nice way of telling someone you think they're full of sh!t - or do you just continue to smile and nod along with their BS stories?!

Monday, October 5, 2009

What Goes Up Must Come Down

But WHY did it have to be so steep and rocky?!

On Sunday Dude and I went hiking the White Oak Canyon/Cedar Run in Shenandoah. This is a 7.9 mile hike described as 4 out of 5 stars in difficulty. And it deseved every one of those stars. Here's the map, and the elevation profile:




We parked at the marked parking lot and headed to the right. It was a steady very manageable uphill with beautiful waterfalls to look at. About an hour in we stopped and had lunch. All very relaxing. We got to the spot just above the 3rd camara (where the trail splits to the yellow trail) in about 1 1/2 hours (including lunch). We thought it would take longer to get there so we looked at our topo map (this nicely labled map was safe in the car) and decided the fire trail was a short cut and OBVIOUSLY we should continue up the mountain. Here's what we did - instead of cutting across the mountain, we did the added pink line until it reconnected then followed the trail to the steep downhill (part of map with one camara).



The added pink part wasn't too bad. More pretty waterfalls, we saw a family of deer. Again, steady uphill or traversing the mountain. We came out on Skyline Drive and had to walk along the road a bit until we got back to the original trail. Then the hell began.

To those of you new to reading topo maps, where it gets to be a dark green color, that's the topo lines VERY close together which means STEEP. DOWNHILL. ON NARROW PATHS. WITH BOULDERS, ROOTS, LEAVES, and GRAVEL.

I'm sure there was pretty scenary but I was too busy tripping over roots and rocks and trying to watch every step I took. Did I mention we are now about 4 hours into the hike (when we thought we should be finishing)? I was out of water and didn't want to drink all of Dude's so I soldiered on. Downhills are worse on the knees so my tendon was screaming and poor Dude was practically dragging his bum leg down the mountain.

After 6 1/2 hours we finally made it back to the car. Tired, hungry, and a little scratched up.

All in all, a great day hiking! But two days later I'm more sore then after running a marathon, which by the way, took less time.

I'd do this hike again with some changes: I'd start by going left and climbing the steep part with fresh legs. I'd have a bigger Camelback. But most importantly, I'd follow the trail.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Thursday Thirteen - Summary by Number

***DISCLAIMER - this was finished yesterday I just never got on a computer last night***


1. It's the best time of the year - fall - I want to build a bonfire, drink apple cider, make recipes with pumpkin in it, and wear orange. Not necessarily at the same time.

2. But I'm going to miss wearing shorts and sleeveless shirts.

3. A co-worker who does Iron-Distance races just came by for the first time since July and I got to re-live the day I became an IRONMAN!

4. I have been planning on doing something huge in a couple months. By huge I mean GI-NORMOUS. I was so EXCITED about being a part of it but as I look at my finances I don't think I can swing it right now. I'm very disappointed and am cursing this F-ing economy. Seriously, I'm down about a 1/3 of what I had when I got divorced and it's not like I've stopped investing. F-ing Economy!

5. My first race in 2010 will be the Shamrock Half Marathon. I debated between the half and the full but awhile back I said only one marathon next year. I'd like to try to get into the one in Bordeaux. If not, there's always Marine Corp.

6. Follow up to the YOU did an Ironman story. I was at that same store over the weekend putting groceries in the back of my SUV. Guy walking by says "Did your husband do an Ironman"? After he recovered from me knocking his ass out (not really) I said NO-I DID. At least he was smart enough to respond with a "wow, that's really cool".

7. Speaking of husbands - lately I've been bombarded with the "when are you and Dude going to get married" from family, friends, co-workers, ex-coworkers and even the lady that waxes my brows. BELIEVE ME when I say I am PERFECTLY HAPPY with the way things are!!! No need for the sympathetic look!!! Seriously, why can't people accept that marriage is not a requirement in every relationship?! I'm living proof that the paperwork doesn't guarantee diddly!

8. Every time I think about #4 I get depressed (and pissed)! F-ing Economy!

9. Dilemma, dilemma. I really want to do an IRONMAN sanctioned 70.3 event next year so I was planning on the Orlando race (opportunity to see Mom and Friends) which is in mid-May. But now Mooseman (I love this venue) is a MDOT event and it's the 1st weekend in June so it's one or the other.

10. If I was still training for Marine Corp this weekend would be my 20 mile weekend. Instead I might run for an hour or so on Saturday then Dude and I are going hiking on Sunday. I love the off-season!

11. I had a dream last night that Dude was a jerk in. I woke up mad (really, really mad) at him and gave him the cold shoulder in the morning (I don't think he noticed in his sleepy haze). It has me thinking - does anyone else do this? Take their dreams out on the person (people) in the dream?

12. I mentioned I'm not talking to one of my sisters right now but she's the one I use to talk to when I was stuck in traffic so I'm kind of punishing myself. She called me last night and I ignored her call...

and now I feel guilty.

13. I can't believe that with this post I have over 100 posts. Can't believe I've stuck with and and can't believe others actually read it!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Still Alive, Just Blah

Well, I'll be brief since there's not much to report.

Last time I checked in it was all about the 10K. And that ends the exercise report.

My groove has been missing since I deferred the marathon. I am still finalizing my 2010 schedule. Currently I'm looking at The Shamrock Marathon or 1/2 Marathon in March, something in April, Florida HALF-Ironman in May, at least one race in the summer, and the Marathon Du Medoc in Bordeaux, France in Sep (there's wine at the rest stops - almost a guaranteed Personal Worst but also guaranteed to be a blast). If I can't get into the French race, I'll do another Half in Sep and Marine Corp in October.

Other catching up - while home I got to visit with my high school buds. I had a blast and it gave me opportunity to once again be thankful for all the good in my life. I have friends taking care of their elderly parents, going through divorce/separations/break-ups, lingering illness, surgeries, job loss, deployments to Iraq, etc. The silver lining is they are all taking it in stride. Seems the common theme is "If life gives you lemons, make lemonade. Then add vodka."

On the family front, there's some old drama that I have just become privy to and it's really pissed me off. I'm very angry with my sister but she doesn't know it (because I'm passive-aggressive). We'll see how long until she notices that I haven't called.

Other then that, still uber-happy with Dude. Still looking for motivation to exercise. Still trying to lose weight (haven't exercised since the 10K and dropped 1 pound but I'm still above Ironman weight). Still working my way through 101 in 1001.

All in all, life is good, just uneventful.

If only I won Fool's giveaway!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Fox Lake Run, Titusville FL 10K Race Report

OK, remember when I said my race season was over? Yea, not so much. I had been planning a trip home for about a month. I got a call from my Mom early in the week saying her friend had organized a 10K so she signed me up.

"Thanks Mom"







So my first day of vacation began at 0615 so we could drive an hour to the race location. Yep! She signed me up, she's coming to spectate! We got there about an hour early so she walked me around and introduced me to everyone she knew. I love that she introduces me as "This is my baby Es, She's an IRONMAN."

Thanks Mom!








Since this was in Florida there were three things I knew going in - it would be flat, it would be HOT, and it would be HUMID. What I didn't know is the roads are not flat. To help with drainage all of the roads are slanted so my hip flexors and IT bands were screaming. I was able to run the whole race (walked the aid stations because I needed the water). No real issues, just my usual turtle pace.

It was a small field - total of 73 people doing the 10K. I came in 1:00:24 - 53/73 Overall, 16/31 Females, 4/4 Age group (fast old women!).

For all my bitching - this really wasn't a bad way to start my vacation!

Side story - I'm standing at the race start - there's an old salty lookin' guy who looked something like this:
He had a cigarette in hand, wearing circa 1980 track pants (it's over 90 degrees at 8am), a denim! vest (former jacket with the arms cut off, strings hanging) with a full back iron-on patch, and he's carrying 5lb dumbbells. He did the 5K but my Mom didn't catch his time. I swear, I'm from the "Redneck Capital of the World".

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Nation's Tri Race Report

I’m going to stay positive here, so all I have to say is this whole race could have been better if they limited the number of people participating. Pre-racking, mandatory safety briefing, parking nightmare, etc. would have been eliminated. Round trip on Saturday was 4 hours – that’s longer then the race. I will not be doing this race next year.

Pre: It was great to see a bunch of Team Z folks that I haven’t seen in awhile. And since we all had over an hour to wait, there was plenty of time to catch up.



Swim 1,500 M – 35:56 – Most physical swim I’ve ever been in. I didn’t help my time by swimming half way to the other shore after the turn around.
Note to self: 1,500M is quite the distance when you haven’t swum in 2 months - I definitely felt it the next day!

T1 – 3:27 – Long way to the bike and its been awhile since I wrestled a wetsuit.

Bike 40K – 1:21:37 – I was pretty happy with my time. I did notice that when I skipped a nutrition round it seemed like within minutes my speed would rapidly decrease. I’d take a gulp of PowerBar Endurance and I’d be back up to speed. Apparently that nutrition thing is important. When I got back to transition I didn’t realize the bike was over. I actually laughed because all I was thinking was “that’s it – I don’t have to ride for another 87 miles”?!

T2 - 3:28 – My rack seemed much further in then I remembered. And my knee was hurting so I did a slow walk while I debated DNF-ing. The race didn't provide adult beverages and the Team Z supply wasn't there so I soldiered on.

Run 10K – 1:02:30 – The first mile was gawd awful. Had I continued at that pace, my time would have been around 1:20. I decided to do the run/walk method but 1-minute into the walk I decided to test my legs again. Other then one aid station I never walked again and I was able to pick up the pace a bit with each mile. Once I saw the finish line it was a Zone 5B “sprint” (my definition of sprint may differ from most other peoples). It hurt, I thought I was going to hurl, but I was able to finish strong and smiling.

Overall 3:06:57 – 95/252 Age Group – Going in, with the lack of training since IMS, I was thinking 3:20 so needless to say I am quite happy with my time. It is a PR since this is the first “true” Oly that I’ve done. Mooseman 2008 shortened the swim due to fog and Patriot 2008 turned into a Duo due to a hurricane.



Thanks to all the Z-ers out there racing, cheering, volunteering, and giving shout outs throughout the course.

Other thing to note: My heart rate was averaging about 165 (Zone 4) and OMG I felt it the next day. In comparison, my heart rate rarely got above 150 in Ironman and I felt great the next day. Apparently Coach Ed knows his stuff!

Since I deferred Marine Corp Marathon my 2009 race calendar is complete. I'm all happy-happy-joy-joy right now but I know I’m going to miss it!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Friday Fourteen (Thursday Thirteen with a penalty)

1. Today is the anniversary of 9/11 and there is still a raw sadness. There is also an intense anger at those responsible. In addition to remembering the tragedy today I also find myself ever so thankful for all of the joy in my life.

2. I feel anything I write after that will seem trivial but the list must go on.

3. I DO have a lot to be thankful for. I have a great job, my health, my family, Dude (*sigh), and some really great friends.

4. I deferred my Marine Corp Marathon entry until next year. My tendon needs a break.

5. That said, I will probably do the Shamrock Marathon in VA Beach in March and Marine Corp in October of 2010.

6. I’m doing Nation’s Tri on Sunday and have not trained one iota for it. It’s “just an Oly” but shall we revisit my RumpASS Sprint experience. This could be UGLY!

7. Nation’s is a PAIN IN THE ASS! You must attend a race briefing the day before. You have to rack your bike the day before. There’s no parking. They let 6,000, yes that’s 6,000!, people in the race. I have an hour wait before my swim wave start. NEVER AGAIN!

8. Another reason to love fall – BOOTS! I see a visit to DSW in my near future!

9. I’m still trying to figure out the hub-bub about Obama’s Back to School speech. The only thing I can come up with is it’s “those” parents that take offense to someone (anyone) saying a child is responsible for their own success.
***Enter sarcasm*** What a horrible concept! I mean, that’s putting way too much pressure on the children - robbing them of their childhood even. ***Exit sarcasm***

10. I bought a Sonicare toothbrush about a month ago and I LOVE IT!!! It has the 2-minute timer that beeps every 30 seconds so you spend the same amount of time on each tooth section. Get one!

11. I really hate the food in our cafeteria but I’m too lazy to pack my lunch and if I do bring my lunch I’m too lazy to heat it up.

12. Still struggling with the weight thing - combination of number 4 and 10 on this list. I need motivation people!!!!

13. It was great to go ride with Team Z last weekend - I’ve missed them. Maybe that should be my motivation!

14. My job has been crazy busy for going on 3 weeks now (don’t tell anyone, I kind of like it)!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

With A Friend Like This...

On Friday the finance system went down so I found myself surfing the internet. Soon I knew I needed an intervention so I turned to Jason:

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
From: Es
To: TZ Jason
Subject: Help me

I just caught myself looking at the Beach2Battleship website thinking about next year.

I need a closed-fist punch to the side of my head!

Es!

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
From: TZ Jason
Subject: Re: Help me
To: Es

Wilmington, NC is a very nice little city ...


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
From: Es
To: TZ Jason
Subject: RE: Help me

Not helping!

I'm reading: "Easy" swim (with the current). Flat ride. Then a flat marathon.

How bad could it be?

But I don't waanntt (said in whiney voice) to do another Ironman!


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
From: TZ Jason
Subject: Re: Help me
To: Es


it's pretty obvious to me that you do ... you just don't want to admit it to yourself

It's natural - you're an Ironman - you have Iron in your blood now.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

From: Es
To: TZ Jason
Subject: RE: Help me

I need a blood transfusion!


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
From: TZ Jason
Subject: Re: Help me
To: Es


maybe you could do both Wisconsin and Beach2Battleship


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
From: Es
To: TZ Jason
Subject: RE: Help me

Absolutely not! Wisconsin doesn't appeal to me at all.

I've come up with some excuses:
- it could be cold in Nov
- flat rides suck - burn out the legs before the run
- I promised I wouldn't do another one next year
- I don't want to do another one
- while IMS was the best day of my life, there's no gurantee of a repeat
- training in the heat sucks

shall I go on?

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
From: TZ Jason
Subject: Re: Help me
To: Es

ok then, just do beach2battleship ... you don't have to do TWO ... goodness ... who would suggest that?

------END OF EMAIL THREAD-------

EVERYONE REPEAT AFTER ME:
ES WILL NOT DO AN IRONMAN IN 2010!
ES WILL NOT DO AN IRONMAN IN 2010!
ES WILL NOT DO AN IRONMAN IN 2010!
ES WILL NOT DO AN IRONMAN IN 2010!
ES WILL NOT DO AN IRONMAN IN 2010!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Thursday Thirteen - Ramblings

1. I had the mother of all migraines yesterday. Saw the spots, stood up to get some water and BAM - Freight Train! Drove home (while covering one eye and squinting with the other), threw up for a little bit, got comfy on the couch and did what anyone would do in this situation - slept off and on for 4 hours. Got up, headache gone but now I still have the migraine hangover.

2. I rarely eat tuna fish. But thanks to Was It For This, all I craved yesterday was tuna. (I still want to make the recipe she recommended).

3. I ran both Monday and Tuesday night and planned on running Wednesday until that Freight Train hit me. Still, much better record then last week!

4. Something is still wrong with my hamstring. I’m going to see how I feel after an 18 mile run this Sat. If it’s still F-ed up, I may blow off Marine Corp, give it more time to heal, and start training for a March marathon in Nov.

5. Part of the reason I’m OK with number 3 is training is the least of my desires right now.

6. I’m doing my 18 miles down in DC so I can go back to the Eastern Market after my run. Yes, I’m addicted!

7. I LOVE Fall (and I know, it’s not quite fall yet)! The mornings and evenings are crisp – perfect running weather. But most importantly, Pumpkin Spiced Latte is back. I was so excited until someone mentioned Gingerbread Latte – now I can’t wait till winter!

8. Peanut Butter is now safe in my presence. During training, I’d go through about one 18oz jar a week. The last one I bought barely has a spoonful taken out.

9. I swear I was switched at birth. I'd do a DNA test, but what if I'm wrong?! (Don't get me wrong, I LOVE my family - but how can I be SOOOO different then them?)

10. Summer is quickly getting away. Only a few weeks left of BLTCA's. (Bacon, Lettuce, Tomato, Cheese, and Avocados) Speaking of which, I now know what I'm having for dinner tonight.

11. I "gained" 2 pounds over the weekend, but I'm back to what I was last Thursday. Still have quite a few till I'm down to my goal: 140.6 (get it?).

12. Last weekend Dude and I went to the National Botanical Garden. If you haven't been, go - it is beautiful! Plus, even though it is right on the mall, it's not one of those places most tourists go.

13. Coming up with 13 things is harder then you'd imagine!

Monday, August 31, 2009

And She Can Cook!

First I’ll do an update on my training, since this blog is supposed to be about training, blah, blah, blah. This week I ran once (yep, once, marathon schmarathon). It was supposed to be 10 miles, I made 5. That’ll teach me to start a run at 2:30 in the afternoon, on a boiling hot day, after eating nothing but ½ a muffin and a tasting of tomatoes. I was one hot, dizzy, dehydrated, slow mess!

Why so late? Why a tasting of tomatoes? Well, after living in Northern Virginia for 3 ½ years I FINALLY ventured out to the Eastern Market (bigger (better) then a farmer’s market, much smaller the Reading Terminal in Philly). And that, my friends, is the first of two Happy Places I found this weekend (2nd is Total Wine - someone explain to me how I missed this gem?!).

Eastern Market is heaven on earth. We went there with no menu, no recipes, just an open mind and the desire to make a fabulous dinner. We walked through all of the vegetable stands and ideas were forming, but I needed the main dish solidified before making a purchase. I was starting to get disappointed because there was no meats/seafood - then we went inside. The first counter we saw was the seafood counter…Frutta di Mare? Next was fresh meat…Pesto stuffed Pork Loin? Focus on the appetizer and that would determine the main dish. Choice between Prosciutto wrapped Cantaloupe (then I'd make the pork loin) or Bacon Wrapped Scallops (to go with the Frutta di Mare). HMMMMMM

And the decision is:
Thick Sliced Hickory Bacon wrapped Sea Scallops
Grilled Baby Octopus (17/101)
Tomato Salad
Baked Sweet Onion
Tomato Basil Fettuccine (Cheated and bought this)
And Frutta di Mare (18/101)

I thought I bought 2-person quantities, but know that these recipes could have EASILY fed four. I also don't believe in measuring things when I make up my own recipes so everything is an approximate.

Recipes:
Fresh Herb Mix
1/4 Cup Loosely Packed Basil
Leaves from about 6 inches of Rosemary
Leaves from about 6 inches of Oregano
Sprinkling (teaspoon-ish) Sea Salt
Pepper (about 5 turns of the grinder)
Put everything in a bowl and chop. I prefer to use scissors, Dude uses a knife on a cutting bored. I don't recommend a processor - in my experience too much moisture is released. Set aside - will be used throughout these recipes.

Thick Sliced Hickory Bacon Wrapped Sea Scallops
6 slices bacon, cut in half
12 Scallops (ordered ½ lb, this is what I got)
Wrap bacon around scallops, put on metal skewer. Grill for 10 minutes (500 degrees*).

Grilled Baby Octopus
4 Baby Octopus (figure 2 per person)
¼ C Olive Oil
2 Tbs Fresh Herb Mix

Marinate octopus in olive oil and herbs for 15 minutes. Remove from oil, shake off extra oil. Grill on top shelf of grill (500 degrees*) for 10 minutes.

Note: Some people can’t get past the look of the octopus and won’t eat this. Once they are cooked you could chop them up so they no longer resemble little 8-legged aliens. (Not that Dude or I have an issue with this, but Dude did apologize to each one before he ate it).

Fresh Tomato Salad
3 Different (Colors/Types) of Tomatoes - I used beefsteak, Green Zebra, and a big orange one. Do some tasting at the farmer’s market to find a good mix.
2 Tbs Olive Oil, divided
Sprinkling Sea Salt
1 Tbs Fresh Herb Mix
2 Basil Leaves, sliced in this strips
Drizzle Platter with Olive Oil and sprinkling of salt. Slice/Core tomatoes. Arrange on Platter. Sprinkle with Fresh Herb Mix and Basil Leaves. Top with additional Olive Oil.

Baked Sweet Onion
Dude and I have been trying to duplicate this since we had it in Italy. It seemed simple enough, a baked onion that was basically caramelized in its skin. After trial and error, I think we have it.
2 Onions - top/bottom cut off, cross cut in top and bottom, and stabbed on each side
1/2 Cup Olive Oil
Fresh Herb Mix
Preheat oven or grill to 500 degrees*. This is why the grill was so hot for the scallops and octopus.
Pour 1/4 cup olive oil in two bowls. Put onion in bowl, top with Fresh Herbs. Cover with saran wrap and let sit for ~30 minutes.

Make tinfoil pouch. Put onion and oil mixture in the pouch and seal. Bake/Grill for 1 hour. Remove skin and serve piping hot.

Frutta di Mare
Olive Oil
4 Garlic Cloves, Chopped
3 Tomatoes, chopped, with juice and seeds
1/2 Cup White Wine
Fresh Herbs
Sea Salt
4 Calamari Tubes, cut into rings
5 Large Shrimp, peeled, deveined, cut into 3 pieces
6 Mussels, scrubbed, debearded
6 Clams, scrubbed
1/4 Lb Bay Scallops

Fill a large pot with water, add some salt and a drizzle of olive oil. Bring to a boil. While boiling the water do the below.
Wash, clean and lightly steam the Clams and Mussels just enough to open. Remove meat from shells and set aside.
Wash the calamari and cut into rings
Heat olive oil and add garlic, Stir for ~2 minutes. Add the chopped tomatoes and herbs and cover. Simmer on Med-Low for 5 minutes. Add wine and bring to a boil. Add all seafood except clams and mussels. Salt to taste. Cook for ~5+ minutes. In the last 3 minutes or so add the mussels and clams. Add red pepper flakes right at the end. Cover and let sit (on the same burner) until ready to platter.

Pasta:
In the last 3 minutes of cooking the sauce, add fresh pasta to the boiling water and follow the directions (usually calls for 2-3 minutes). I recommend under cooking it, drain. Reserve some of the pasta water. Put on serving dish, drizzle with olive oil. If it seems to dry out quickly add a scant amount of the reserved water. Serve seafood on top of pasta.

And the results...mmm, mmm, mmm, mmm GOOD!



For each one of these recipes, I give them:

Friday, August 28, 2009

Thursday Thirteen Things I Did and Did Not Do This Week

Yes I know it's Friday - Deal with it!

Things I DID:
- Got my wireless card reestablished on my computer so I can work from home again

- Worked from home every evening M-W until midnight

- Had over 40 hours in by 9am on Thursday - still worked the rest of the day and working 1/2 day Friday. And NO I don't get paid for all my hours.

- Booked a trip to FL in September to go visit my family and catch up with the highschool friends I've reconnected with on Facebook. (101 in 1001)

- Made homemade pasta with my new pasta machine (and homemade pesto with our basil that we grew).

- Tried to give blood. (101 in 1001)

- Lost one pound (I gained three since Ironman)

- Week three of 100 crunches every other morning. (101 in 1001)

Things I Did NOT DO:

- Give blood. Despite BEING AN IRONMAN my iron was too low

- Any training (other then the aforementioned crunches) since the run on Saturday

- Finish cleaning my house - upstairs spotless, downstairs not so much

- Weed my backyard. The weeds/grass is almost up to my hips.

- Wash my car, well I haven't done this since May(!)

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

2010 Already

No, I haven't figured out time travel. I'm starting to think about my 2010 Race Schedule.

Things I know for sure - NO IRONMAN! No long-distance travel. And that's all I know for sure.

Things I'm considering:
Marathon (Just one):
Either ING Marathon (Atlanta) or Shamrock Marathon (Virginia Beach and Yuengling after) the weekend of 20 March.

Half Options (Thinking two):
Kinetic Half - After this years failure I kind of feel like I have to try again.
Mooseman Half - I just love this race venue.
I also really like Endurfun (folks that put the race on) so I'd consider Timberman or Longhorn.
An Ironman Half - either FL (get to visit mom), Vineman (wine country), Amica (Rhode Island - kind of close)

Olys -
Rumpass (if they do it again)
Nation's (in my backyard)
Mooseman (if I don't do the Half)

I'd also like to do some more distance cycling, maybe an adventure race, rock climbing class, cooking class, housework, etc., etc., etc.

CRAP - looks like next year's weekends are filling up!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

I Ran...And I Liked It

Saturday was my first “distance” run since IMS - 16 miles. I had not been looking forward to it at all. Since IMS every step after 5 miles hurt…really bad. Shins, Thighs, Hips, Back…just hurt.

But then Saturday happened.

Team run started at the Caboose in Vienna to run the W&OD trail. It’s not my favorite place to run but it does give you a mix of hills, false flats, flats, and the occasional jump out of the way as cyclist go flying by without announcing themselves. Unfortunately I showed up ½ hour late so I was in for a lonely run, just me and my iPod. I did get to see many team members and that’s always a treat.

I did my normal 10/2 walk/run mix. I also split the run to 4 miles to the west and back (more hills), refuel, then 4 miles to the east and back (less shade).

It was BOILING hot. Sometimes after swim I sit in the sauna – it was hotter outside. And muggy. And humid. I was DRENCHED. And I’m not exaggerating! Despite this, I felt great the entire run. Note to self, don't lick arm for salt after applying sunscreen!

My pace for the first 8 miles were 11 min – and that included the 2 min walk. I did slow down a bit for the 2nd 8 miles and ranged between 11:00 – 11:45. Not too shabby (ok, slow as shit, but right on my marathon pace).

Did I mention I felt GREAT?!?!

And recovery, who needs recovery? Never felt pain or stiffness. Awesome! (Sang in a high pitched tone).

Oh, and Sunday, we went for a 5 mile hike, with climbing/hills and it wasn’t so bad. I don’t know what’s going on, but I’m loving it!

In other news – I’m thinking of backing out of the Nation’s Tri. It’s the weekend I’m supposed to run 18 miles. Marine Corp is more important then this Oly. I need to see if I can get any money back though (I am a cheap ass so if I can’t, I’ll do the race). If that’s the case, I’m not sure how I’ll get those additional miles in. Finish the Oly, then run an additional 12?! Now that’s HARDCORE!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Thursday Thirteen - Catch Up and A Lot of Nothing

1. I suck. Get your mind out of the gutter. I suck at blogging but not by choice. I have a LOT to blog about but due to technical difficulties and my (stupid) job I don't have time.

2. I still read everyone's blogs. Thank "the maker" (I'm stealing this from Mary) for stoplights, traffic jams, and down time in the evenings with the blackberry.

3. Marathon training is...well it is. Anything over 5 miles still hurts but I have made it up to 10. This weekend I jump to 16 (combining training schedules kind of screws up the build). I'm going to do 8 miles at a time (4 out/back) so it doesn't seem overwhelming.

4. Dude and I went cycling in Amish Country, PA last weekend. What are the requirements for becoming Amish? They lead such a simple life, but they seem so happy. I think they KNOW what is important in life and the rest of us will realize it when we're old and decrepit.

5. We are playing the lottery this week (my first time since ummmmm, the 90's). If I win I'm buying property and going to attempt my dream job.

6. Want to know what my dream job is...? Owning a Bed and Breakfast (but in my case it would be Supper and Siesta because I hate making breakfast). See, I will have "the big house" where I live and cook. I will have cabins (fully decked out cabins) for the guests. They will get home-cooked gourmet meals (with wine pairings). During the day, there will be hiking, running, cycling, or on their own activities. Breakfast (simple stuff) will be available as well as box lunches. Come on, wouldn't you want to stay there???? (and as Dude takes pictures of me blogging (learning more about photography), I'm sure he would be available to document your vacation).

7. I mentioned we went to PA this past weekend. It was another opportunity to realize one of the 1,000 reasons why I love Dude so much. That man can talk and make friends with anyone. I'm an extrovert (according to Myers-Briggs) but seriously, he IS the definition of extrovert.

8. Funny (not so much) story.... I have one of those stickers with the pictures of the swim/bike/run on my car. So, I'm walking out of the store and this guy (kind of looks like an athlete) asks "what kind of triathlete are you?" I'm thinking, "um, middle of the pack?!" but I still haven't answered. I think he saw the confusion, because he said/asked, "you do sprints"? I said "No, I did Ironman Switzerland a month ago". He said "you did".

Now that can be read a couple ways. You DID - Meaning - that's awesome! Or YOU did - Meaning - seriously, someone with thighs and an ass that big can do Ironman?!

Unfortunately, he said it the second way - like I'm not worthy of the Ironman title. Fucker.

9. Work is stupid busy. Lesson learned - Never EVER tell your CFO that you sometimes get bored because there is not enough to do. I now have more then enough to do and not near the hours.

10. Being a woman SUCKS sometimes! Especially when it's that time. Seriously, menopause can't come soon enough.

11 - 12 - F-it. I'm tired and I've had 3 drinks tonight. I'm going to bed.

13. I AM AN IRONMAN!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

#58 - Cook 101 in 1001 - #'s 10 - 16

I have been cooking just not blogging about it. These span the last couple months. If the recipe is not typed, click on the link:

To remind you of the Fat Running Chef (FRC) scale:
1=Never Ever Again
2=Try One More Time
3=Good But Needs Tweeking
4=OMG This Is So Good Calories Don't Count


#10 - White Bean & Roasted Tomato Soup
– Wegman’s Recipe - Followed the recipe to a tee except I chopped my own onion, added a minced garlic clove, omitted the croutons (served with bread) and did not strain the mixture, just blended it. 3 ½ FRC – nothing wrong with it and I’ll make it again, but not “to die for”.


#11 – Chicken w/Pancetta and Olives came from Epicurious – I halved everything in this recipe with the exception of the Pancetta. I bought the pre-diced and used ½ of the package. I probably used a few more olives as well. 4 FRC


#12 - Pancetta & Taleggio Conchiglioni is from the Delicious Magazine, Vol 6, Issue 5. This magazine is an Austrailian magazine, so all weights are in metric. And I’m going to make you do the math!

Ingredients:
250 g Cannelloni Shells
1 C Breadcrumbs, fresh
8 Pancetta slices, chopped
1/3 C Parsley, flat leaf, chopped
Grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
200 g Taleggio
1 lg Egg Yolk, lightly beaten
2 Tbs Parmasan

Tomato & Red Wine Sauce
2 C Tomato Passata
100 ml Dry Red Wine
1 tsp Brown Sugar
Pinch dried Chili Flakes
1 Tbs Olive Oil, plus extra to toss pasta

Directions:
Place all sauce ingredients in a pan over medium-high heat. Season, bring to a boil, then simmer, covered, over low heat for 12 – 15 minutes, stirring occasionally until just thickened.

Preheat oven to 200 Celcius. Cook pasta in a large pan of boiling water according to directions. Drain, toss with olive oil. Set aside.

Mix together all remaining ingredients, except parmesan, with some pepper. (If using Cannelloni shells) use a piping bag with a large plain nozzle (or a zip-lock bag with 1 corner snipped off), to fill pasta tubes. Pour half the sauce into a 3-litre baking dish, then top with pasta, preferably in a single layer. Pour over remaining sauce and scatter with parmesan.

Bake for 20 – 25 minutes until pasta is tender. Serve with extra parsley.

Changes I made and Lessons Learned:
Converted everything from metric
I used giant shells instead of Cannelloni (hence the Conchiglioni), they’re easier to stuff. Used packaged Italian bread crumbs. For the sauce I couldn’t find Passata, which is a cooked tomato concentrate so I used Pomi brand Strained Tomatoes - could have used tomato paste. I added minced Garlic Clove, Season-all, and Ground Italian Herbs. I should have used less bread crumbs and more spices in the sauce. The sauce was a little too sweet for my liking. I used a Chianti wine so that may have added to the sweetness. 3 FRCs – it was good but needs some work.


#13 & 14 - Grilled Mojo Pork Tenderloin Sandwich with Grilled Peach Salsa – Both Wegman’s Recipes – Did not make into a sandwich, just had the pork (which means I grilled a pre-marinated pork loin - tough stuff!) and salsa. As a note, I’m a fake Mexican and don’t like spicy food and I thought this salsa was incredible. Quick, Easy, and mmm, mmm, good! 4 FRC’s


#15 – Grilled Swordfish Nicoise Salad – Wegman’s Recipe – This is one of those recipes you can take the basics and mix it up. I’m going to go with 3 FRC’s only because there is so much room to play with the ingredients.


And #16 Creamy Tomato Pasta with Pine Nuts is from the Better Homes and Garden Special Interest Publication “Ultimate Italian”.

Ingredients:
3 Oz Pancetta, finely chopped
1 Tbs Butter
2 C Mushrooms, sliced
1/4 C pine nuts, toasted
¼ tsp Black Pepper (eyeball)
2 Med Tomatoes, chopped
½ C Parmasan Cheese
1 9 Oz Pkg Refrigerated Linguine
1 ½ C ½ & ½ or Light Cream
Additional Parmasan and Pepper if desired

Directions:
In a large skillet, cook and stir pancetta over medium heat just until golden brown. Remove pancetta from skillet; drain off fat. For sauce: In the same skillet, heat butter. Add mushrooms and pine nuts; cook about 5 minutes or until mushrooms ar etender and pine nuts are golden brown, stirring frequently. Return pancetta to skillet. Stir in half & half and the ¼ teaspoon pepper.

Bring mixture to boiling; reduce heat. Boil gently uncovered, over medium heat about 7 minutes or until mixture is slightly thickened. Stir in tomatoes and Parmasan cheese.

Meanwhile, cook linguine according to package directions; drain. Add the sauce; toss gently to combine. If desired, sprinkle with additional Parmasan cheese and pepper. Makes 4 servings.

As written 578 Calories. Saved some calories with fake butter and fat free cream (but probably evened it out with the additional pancetta and pine nuts)

Changes I made and Lessons Learned:
Used 4 oz Pancetta, Brummell & Brown Yogurt Butter, about ½ the mushrooms, ½ C pine nuts, 3 Plum Tomatoes, Fettuccini instead of Linguine, Fat Free Cream, and did not add the additional parmesan or pepper. I added minced Garlic Clove, Season-all, Ground Italian Herbs, and flour (for thickening). I should have used right amount of mushrooms, stuck with original amount of pine nuts (if not less), and added another plum tomato. Also, if you use fat free cream you have to watch it constantly when it’s boiling or a film develops on top (which can be removed, doesn’t change the flavor).