Thursday, September 27, 2007

Flying in the Face of Good Sense


I am sick, still sick and not well at all. I thought I was well enough to run today but I didn't even make it a 1/4 mile before my head was spinning and I was hacking.

As I mentioned Monday I was not feeling well. But even still I managed a 5 mile run and 24 mile bike ride. By the end of the day though I felt the tell tale heaviness in my chest and knew this was not allergies. Then I woke up with fever and coughing up all this gross and gelatinous mucus. I had my gyno appointment that day and I figured he would take mercy on me and give me some antibiotics.

But such was not the case. He said virus not an infection and refused me antibiotics and said he couldn't give me "the good cough syrup" because of my allergy to pain meds. Basically he told me to suck it up and deal. Blasted allergies! Fucking Chuck E.!

Since then I've been on a steady dose of Sudafed and Benedryal and Lala commented yesterday that I was so calm, so even keeled, so unlike my usual spastic and neurotic self. Yeah, no kidding.

At any rate I felt better yesterday--no fever-- and feel even better today despite all the yucky snotty stuff clogging up my head and bronchial passages. The good news is that the snotty stuff is no longer greenish brown but a nice pale yellow. I am taking that as proof positive that my condition is improving. My mood and attitude --not so much.

I am in printing hell. My printer and I are squaring off over my sister's wedding programs. I am winning, but only slightly: 27 successful programs printed; 19 unsuccessful programs printed.
Blasted MS Publisher.
Damn paper jam.
Cursed low ink cartridge.
This. Is. War.

Next up for my fun morning: PAYROLL!!

And then I am resigned to the wedding chaos at Pop and Lala's.

See, most people find planning a wedding stressful enough. But my parents? They want a real challenge. So they not only have a wedding at their house they also decide to renovate their house and re landscape it too.

Wait, I don't think you understand.

They decide to renovate it themselves. And then they think up eight billion other little projects to also do while they are simultaneously painting, sawing, tiling, laying stone, grouting and plastering walls. Like what? Like painting a chandelier, making a fire pit, a stone wall, a table, curtains and so on. No, my Dad isn't retired. And yes Lala has a job too.

You know that Bob the Builder song with the refrain: Can we fix it? Yes we can! Well my parent's have a theme song and it goes a little like this:
Pop and Lala
Can we build it?
Yes we can!
Can we have a party for 200 people?
Yes we can!
Can we make everything ourselves?
Yes we can!
Can we make things easy?
No we can't!
Are we insane?
Yes we are!
Pop and Lala

So maybe tomorrow I can run. Or maybe I should go ride my bike just to get my endorphin fix. Because I need it. Oh, what to do what to do.

Le sigh. I did say this week was going to be a cut back week but I was thinking more in terms of 40 miles--not 5. At the very least I hope am much better by Saturday so I don't have to hack my way through my sister's wedding.

PS. That's right Lala; I'm blogging instead of at your house working.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Back in the black

I feel like my weeks are pretty jam packed. I feel like I really can't add anything else and most often wonder what I can cut to make things more manageable. But nevertheless my days continually get more busy, extras activities are added and inevitably the things that get cut are the things I would rather not have cut.

Such is life, I know.

Next week is particularly packed because my sister is getting married. Also it is payroll week and I have a few other superfluous things I scheduled that had I been wiser I would not have put them on my calendar next week.

Such is life, I know. I know.

But add to all of that this morning I woke up with a sore throat. Fabulous! The cause of the sore throat--whether allergy or virus or bacteria--is still pending. Could be any.

Yesterday afternoon I spent way more minutes than I wanted in the giant bacteria ridden petri dish known as Chuck E. Cheese. You know the place: where every child seems more like an infectious disease waiting to happen than a cute little human being.

Ugh, I hate that place.

Afterwards, we went over to my friend's house. My friend's house is immaculate and was a wonderful respite after the dirtiness of Chuck E.'s. Unfortunately though they have cats and apparently yesterday was one of those times that I am allergic to cats.

I am technically always allergic to cats. For the most part I make an effort not to touch the little kitties and normally I am good-- free of the itchy eyes, hives, scratchy throat and sneezing. But occasionally just being in a house with a cat is too much and I start the itching eyes and sneezing and sometimes, but luckily not yesterday, the dreaded asthma attack. I have yet to figure out the how and why sometimes I am bothered and other times not at all but at any rate my point is that the kitty exposure could also be the cause of my sore throat.

Allergies? They are so fun!

Such is my life. Sigh.

I know the bitching and moaning is boring. It gets old. But sigh, such is my blog.

Before the sore throat I was already worried about how I was going to fit in all my workouts next week. Problems, problems--I know.

I was thinking a cut back week where I cut both the time of the 2 hour and the 3 hour runs would be most practical. Then the following week could be monster week with a 24/25 miler.I thought a 10 miler, a 16-18 miler and then a recovery run and 1-2 speed workouts seemed doable. And if I could swing it, maybe a swim or bike. Ever the optimist.

But now that I might be sick none of that sounds as easy as it did last week when I planned on being healthy. Guess I better really lower my expectations otherwise I am going have my panties all in a wad by week's end.

Who am I kidding?

I will have panties all balled up no matter what. At this point it is just a matter of how tight the wad is and how big. Really, feel sorry for Ryan. He is my fallout shelter.

This week though I stuck with the running plan (3 week streak!) but got in no swim or bike. The swim was cut because I just got my hair highlighted and I didn't want to mess up the color. What can I say? Sometimes the vanity gets in the way of training. I am not an Olympian --so I can worry about things like my hair.

And the bike I planned on doing Friday but it was drizzling and instead I spent the day in shopping hell trying on a bazillion dresses and not finding a single one that fit right or that I liked.

And, can someone please tell me why they are making ugly clothes right now? Is it a conspiracy against women launched by the gay men who spearhead the fashion houses because they hate women for being able to wear cute dresses? Is that why they aren't making said cute dresses? Is that what is going on? And, by the way, who in the hell said muumuus were cute? Was there a memo I missed somewhere? Is there something wrong with a fitted dress? Psychedelic pillow cases and brightly printed potato sacks are tres chic? When did this happen? Seriously.

In the end I did find somethings here that I liked. This for the luncheon but I wear it without pants. It fits me fine as a dress. But is cute with jeans. And this top for the rehearsal dinner with either my silk fitted black skirt or my pin-striped black pants. Normally I am all about color but the clothes are so ugly right now I am back in black-- and apparently, white too. But the plainness of black and white is too difficult for me. It is bothering me and I feel desperately like I need red shoes or maybe burgundy possibly even yellow. You know, something to shout "LOOK AT ME!!" But honestly I just can't bear the thought of shopping again. Too time consuming. Too disappointing. I must weigh the important issues here: to run or to cute shoe? That is the question. What is a girl to do?

So my week was like this:
Sunday: 6 hard miles. 1 easy mile. Garmin is broke. So all times/pace are estimates.

Monday: 5 easy miles

Tuesday: 14 miles at a 8:40ish pace.

Wednesday: Nothing, bridesmaid dress fiasco. We spent all day finding and buying new dresses. Not easy to find 5 matching dresses for 5 girls. Anne Taylor to the rescue. Super Matron of Honor (Me!) saves the day! Or something like that.

Thursday: 23 miles at a 9:20ish pace. I was just tired. I walked too much. I am not pushing as I should be. I really need Garmin.

Friday: Shopping! Ugh. I use to be such the savvy shopper. I suck now.

Saturday: 10k on the treadmill in 45:10. 20 minutes of upper body lifting. I am sooo weak. And, yeah, I don't care.

Le Totals:
Running: 55 miles
Biking: Nada
Swimming: Nothing

Monday, September 17, 2007

36 is the New 40

Pat turned 40 on Saturday.
Pat is my brother in law. He Ryan's older brother. But Pat's wife Meme? She is younger than all of us other Losers. But if you average all the Loser ages together you get 36. I am the mean.

Here are the pictures from the party:

The blow out:

Meme and Pat's powder room has a tub. And that clever Meme made the tub into a lounging area. And it is now known as the VIP lounge.

I caught a bunch of people waiting to get into the lounge.

And going in.

And then coming out.

All. Night. Long.
Total party in there.
I kid you not.

Now, I can't tell you everything that goes on in the VIP lounge because well, I guess it is a little like Vegas and what happens in the lounge stays in the lounge. But I will show you some of the stuff that goes on . . .
Little washing of the hands.
Little cleaning up some split beer.
And there was, of course, the hanger on's.

We played in the tiki hut.

And then Stephan--always with the late night entertainment-- showed us what happens to some men when they turn 40. He used the palm tree to illustrate his point.

He did need a little help with some parts of his presentation.

But he was able to finish up on his own.

I'm not sure what happened next but I think maybe the Oregano said something--or posibly it was the Rosemary--you know , always sensitive about his girly name-- but Stephan got into fistacuffs with the herbs.
And he totally got his assed kicked by the Oregano, Rosemary and Mint.

You know you should never underestimate the strength of these herbs. So powerful is their pungency that Dee Dee commented that it smelled like someone was making sauce. Yeah, of her husband.

And after everyone left. Pat opened some gifts. A bottle of moonshine, a very shiny Rolex. . .
And a ride-a-long that Ryan plans on stealing.

Happy Birthday!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

One Man's Trash is Another's Treasure . . .

Or so the saying goes.

And so it went. To some extent.

I had a garage sale yesterday. And I am not a garage sale person. I know I sure don't want anyone else's crap. I am more the type of person who wants to have the coveted stuff not the tossed out old stuff. Lucky for me there are plenty of people who are willing to buy the tossed out, no longer coveted old stuff.

Despite this somehow I still have a garage full of crap.

But I have been unburdened of the ugly dresser, an old rusty motorcycle, the baby jogger (can't say I was sad to see it go-- no matter how well it served me) and the Little Tykes play crap that has been an eyesore in my backyard for much too long. I also sold a lot of Carmella and Beau's clothes. I still have a baby crib, changing table, high chair and some very cool window boxes that need to go. And for those who like the uncoveted and no longer loved things all these items and many others will be listed on Craigslist. The ridiculous amount of children's clothes I have will be going to consignment stores or listed on eBay. Though I do have a enough I could probably open my own kid's consignment store up to age 5t for both boys and girls.

All said and done I made just under $400 yesterday. Yeah! More money to go buy more crap.

Oh, I made the kids work too.

They had a lemonade stand. Mostly they drank the lemonade and ate the cookies and muffins and brownies and rode bikes around the garage sale items like they were cones on an obstacle course.

Still they made $8 and absolutely loved having a garage. Carmella even got up with me at 6 am to help set up and wipe stuff down. She was all about the arranging and setting up and writing SOLD! signs and taping them on items.

Beau, on the other hand, slept in. He is more of my wheeler and dealer; a true salesman. For the first few hours he went up to every customer: "Good Morning! I got bwonies! Cupcakes! I mean muffins. Cookies? Lemonade?" When they ignored him he would persistently follow them with an empty cup and the basket of baked goods until they relented and bought something from him. After awhile he grew bored of the lemonade stand and started playing with the all the crap that was for sale--the edger, the tripod, the baby jogger, the freaking annoying as shit mickey mouse alarm clock briiinnnngggg!!! . . .

Because of the preparations involved in getting ready and setting up for the garage sale my running and workouts this week suffered slightly. But I did manage to get the key workouts in so I am pleased with the effort this week-- even if it is short of goals:

Sunday: Rest day. Collect crap for garage sale.
Monday: 5 mile recovery run at 8 am.
At 10 am 28 mile bike ride with Steph. This was great ride except for where the asshole in the Caddy tried to hit her. I just don't understand why you would floor it and go around a cyclist that had already signaled and made their move to turn left way before you were even close enough to pass. Jerk.
At any rate, I love riding with Steph. I think we are very well matched--unless she is holding back on my account.
In the afternoon I hit the gym for a swim. Continuous 1600 meter swim that came in at 27 minutes.
Tuesday: 2 hour run. 15 miles at an 8:42 pace. Still too slow.
Wednesday: Speed work day. Ladders on the treadmill for 8 miles in 57:22.
Thursday: Wanted to do a 6 mile recovery run but instead I spent the day pricing stuff and getting all the kid's clothes together.
Friday: 3 hour run. 20 miles at a 8:54 pace.
Saturday: Garage Sale

Week's end totals:
Run: 48 miles
Bike: 28 miles
Swim: 1 mile

Thursday, September 13, 2007

The Kittens? Apparently they tire easily . . .

** Please note that Blogger is acting crazy and keeps deleting stuff like links, photos and text I add. It is making me crazy and is taking more of my time than I have the sanity to deal with. So I am publishing as is becauseI can't mess with this anymore . ***

As previously mentioned Saturday night was my sister's bachelorette party. I am happy to say I still hold the rights to the most fun bachelorette party ever--at least that I have attended. I only bring this up because everyone who knows me knows that I pretty much think of everything as a competition (especially where I get to win-- which is seldom, but not in this instance.) And I suppose, that is as it should be. I should also give credit to Meme because she is the one who threw me one hell of a Bachelorette party.

The past few weeks I must admit have somewhat bemoaned the bachelorette party. Don't get me wrong, I do love a party but seriously, the madness must at some point must end: I am 36, married and have 2 kids. I am also pretty gung ho on all my marathon/triathlon training. So the prospects of a long night on the town of all out partying just didn't have the appeal to me as it once did. And appeal it once did. Nonetheless I pepped talked myself into a night of debauchery and was ready to hang.

From the left--Me!, Captain Morgan, Kristy, Bride (Pookie), Rae, ABBA, and Fishstick. There was suppose to be Mel and Meredith but they had sinus infections. Celina bailed. And Peru, Monique and I believe a few others were meeting up with us later in the evening.

We started the evening at Fuego's for tapas and cocktails.Very yummy! Captain Morgan brought Bride a "Bride-to-be" sash. Bride, however, was very specific about not wearing veils or penises on her head or doing anything bachlorette like except the drinking and dancing. But after much coercion she agreed to wear said sash for just one picture.

Of course I--jealous of pink attention garnering sash-- insisted on trying it on and pretending to be a Bride of the Year and stating my platform--which I have no idea what I said but I am sure it was not terribly clever. Everyone else liked this idea too and also tried sash on and said stated their platform.

Fishstick's was kung fu fighting.

I believe Rae
And Kristy's platforms were hints to their boyfriends.
I can't tell you what ABBA's was.

Or Captain Morgan. Not appropriate content.
In response to this I ordered an espresso martini heavy on the vodka and espresso.

After all the silliness Bride told me that she wanted to go to Opera (which I knew was the plan as I arranged with her other friends to put us on the guest list) but then she also wanted to hit the Cleremont Lounge and then MJQ's.

Yeah! I was totally down for MJQ's. Ryan and I cut a serious rug there after the Pixies a few years ago. And not since the days of Disco Hell at the old 40 Watt and those grandly fun nights at the Star Bar with Dj Romeo Cologne (yes, I have a soft spot for the dives) have I had so much dancing. I do love to boogie. But the Clermont Lounge is a completely different matter. Yes it is absolutely a dive but it is one of the dirtiest places I have every been in. I have been there once and have no desire to revisit. I should mention that my visit to the Clermont was when I was 6 weeks pregnant with Beau and doing the not telling dance of early pregnancy. So I was also sober. Pregnancy and sobriety are 2 states you don't want to be rocking at the Clermont.

I hear you Atlanta. I know what you are thinking. It is The Clermont Lounge. And I know it is an Atlanta must go at least once landmark. But it is so, so disgustingly dirty. Dirty on so many dark and subterranean levels. And for those of you unfamiliar with exactly what the Clermont Lounge is let me be the first to tell you: It is the darkest hole of strip clubs. It the strip club of where women who have no business taking off their clothes do. And as if that isn't enough they then do things like crush beer cans with various body parts--you know, like their boobs. I think there is even one stripper there who is like 60 or so.

So like I said, not a place you want to go pregnant or sober. The memory and the frightening images I saw at my visit to the Clermont are burned a little clearer than I think anyone would want on their brain.

I digress. It happens. A lot, I know. So what happened next? Well, we finished our dinner and drinks and headed across the street to Opera. It is the old Eleven50 and is tres fancy. Cover I hear is $25. We, thanks to Bride's roommate who tends bar and her other friend Peru whose husband is an investor or somehow connected got us on the guest list and V.I.P passes. I am not exactly sure what the V.I.P passes did for us other than to permit us to walk up and down a lot of stairs. Seems we did that. A lot.

Here are some of the pictures of us at Opera.

Me and Fishstick on the terrace making out. Okay, not really. But only because she would have nothing to do with me. Please know I am kidding. Mom. Ryan. Jason.

Playing with the "retro" setting on my camera:

Captain Morgan doing his best James Dean.

And the Bride, about 5 minutes before she turned into a pumpkin.

And thus ended the night of dancing for me and Fishstick. Everyone else stayed and carried the party on. Fishstick and I carried the Bride home.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Curses, Foiled Again!

Blasted Aqua fit.

Went to the gym to swim Saturday AM. No easy feat herding the cats to the gym by 9 am on a weekend. Especially when they don't want to go. Well, Carmella did but Beau had other ideas. We were having one of those strong willed child days where he disagrees with everything I want him to do-- even if he really does want to do it. It is so annoying.

I just shove him in Kids Klub and he collapses on the floor and sobs with his head buried in his arms(he is an Oscar worthy actor). I tell them I will be back in 30 minutes. Carmella is already off playing and Beau just carries on. I leave him there to his tears and go the locker room. I get my stuff together and walk out to the pool. And much to my dismay is the Aqua Fit class bobbing up and down. Curses.

So I collect my stuff and go to get the kids. In the 3 minutes I have been gone Beau has miraculously overcome his devastation and is quite happily playing with his friends. That is until he sees me. And then he starts in about how he most definitely does not want to go to Kids Klub. Kids Klub is dumb. Boring even. And I tell him that is fine. We are leaving.

He rapid fired switches his gears and now throws a fit about how he most definitely does NOT want to leave Kids Klub. I cut the theatrics short and tell him he is going to Meme's. He rapid fire changes his tune again and we all walk to the car--Beau happily skipping now and Carmella and I just roll our eyes at him. He is just so fun when he acts like this. I just love it. Really, it is so cute!

Aunt Meme had graciously volunteered to take the kids to her nephew's b-ball game the night before. And before she could second guess her offer I accepted. So I had nearly 2 free hours--pretty much unheard of for me on a Saturday. So I took Lance for a little ride. We did a tour de Roswell that came in at 23 miles and was quite enjoyable. Well except for the brief jaunt down HWY 92 where after the first big truck doing 50+mph blew past me I hopped on the sidewalk with my tail tucked. But the rest of the ride was very nice and not at all humiliating. Anyway . . .Thanks Meme!

Week's end tally
Run: 51 miles
Bike: 46 miles
Swim: 600 meters

Friday, September 07, 2007

Front End Loading: My New Mentality

1 crank gel
1 Cliff shot gel
30 ounces of water
16 ounces of Gatorade
3 hours and 7 minutes of listening to my favorite songs
1 10 minute ice bath

The feeling of finishing my first 21 miler of marathon training this year?

Uh, duh! Relief!

Yeah! I did it! I got my first week of marathon training exactly where I wanted it. Maybe not so much with the pace but that will improve. I still have what? 10 weeks to improve until the Chickamauga marathon. Definitely better off than I have been before other marathons.

My new approach to training is "front end loading." I did not make up this term. I am stealing it from my good friend Deanna who often says at parties, when she is the driver, that she has to "front end load." What she means is that she is going to get her drink on--cut herself off and ride the buzz-- and still give herself several hours to get good and sober before she has to drive. This works well but you do have to know when to say when and stick with it. Point is you have a good time and still keep yourself feeling good without consequence.

So it occurred to me that I might should try this with my nutrition on my long runs. I tried it today and admittedly, it is hard to want to do it but man what a difference it made at the end of a long run.

I started out around 9:30 this morning. It was about 75 degrees and little breezy and a lot less humid. Nevertheless, I was totally dreading the run. Did not want to do it. I was tired just thinking about all those miles.

I brought with me one of those water bottles that wrap on your hand, a crank gel, a clif shot gel and 2 bucks. After the first mile I took a sip of water every 5 minutes.

Even still the first 3 miles completely sucked. They are all uphill and my calves were so heavy and tight; felt exactly like the muscle needed to free itself from my skin. I stopped in the middle of a hill and hung my heels over the curb to stretch. The muscle relaxed and felt better so I ran on. In the 4th mile I started to feel good and had picked the pace up by the 5th mile.Right before the 6th mile was my first planned stop. On long runs I usually hold out til the 7th mile to stop. I was really feeling my grove but I had to stop. I made myself drink half of the water I was carrying and had a crank gel. Totally did not want it or felt like I needed it. Refilled my bottle and ran on taking small sips every 5 or so minutes.

I continued to feel good but around 10 miles I had to stop was I had reached the last place for me to refill my water until 18 miles. So I drank half and refilled my bottle again.

Around 13 miles I had my Clif shot gel. Walked for a minute and drank some water. I think I may have waited a little too long here as I started to feel a little yucky but it could have been an emotional thing and I also really hate this particular leg of my run. It is 2 roads that are very boring and totally 4 miles. I always feel very lonely and sad but these roads are a lesser evil to my other hillier options so I suck it up. The gel must have kicked in around 16-17 miles because I started to feel all happy again.

I made myself stop before the last 5k. I dumped out the water and filled my bottle with ice and Gatorade. It was cold and delicious. I took a sip of it every 5 or so minutes of the last 3 miles. I was even able to push up the final hill before my house. Best of all, I finished this 21 miler feeling like I could have gone a few more; and that is how it is suppose to be done.

Around all the other running blogs everyone is talking about what marathon plan they are following so I figure I'll throw my unplan out there into the bunch too. I say unplan because every time I have ever tried to follow a plan I end up deciding I don't like it and do my own thing.

Goals: Running 4-5 days a week. MPW; 50-70 except taper and possible cut back weeks. Increase in mileage is roughly 10-15% of mpw; e.g. if I run 45 one week the next I shoot for 50. Base line is 40 mpw--I will try not to go below this. 1-2 cross training days.

The Plan Breakdown
The Recovery Run: 1-2 a week of 4-10 miles at whatever pace feels comfy. I just don't want to think about pace. I just want to enjoy the run.

The Speed workout: 1 a week: 3-8 miles on the treadmill--ladder or negative split runs. Any race I do will replace speed workouts. Also, speed workouts will be the first to get cut after cross training.

The 2 hour Run: Run at or close to marathon pace. (12-16 miles) For me this means 7:50-8:35 pace. I am not quite there yet but I think once it gets cooler it will not be a problem.

The 3 hour Run: 17-25 miles run 30 seconds to one minute slower than marathon pace--so 8:30-9:30 pace. Ideally, this training cycle I want something like this: 2 17-19 milers, 3 20/21, 2 22/23milers, 1 24/25 miler.

Cross training: 1 swim (1 mile) and 1 bike (20-30 miles)a week. I may need to add some weights but I am going to try without. I hate lifting. Bores me to tears and I just feel silly doing it. Cross training will be the first thing cut if I can't get all my runs in.

Race Goals:

Half Marathon: sub 1:40--ideally closer to 1:30.
Marathon: PR but really sub 3:40 and ideally 3:30.

So I still have one day left and I've pretty much met my goals:
Sunday: rest
Monday: 6 miles recovery
Tuesday: 16 miles 9 minute pace
Wednesday: 23 mile bike ride @16+ mph
Thursday: 8 miles in 57 minutes. 600 meter swim.
Friday: 21 miles @ 8:55 pace.
Saturday: Probably an easy run and a swim--maybe bike since Meme has offered to take the kids to a local b-ball game.

But then again, maybe nothing. As tonight is my sister's bachlorette party. I've got a night of drinking and dancing and clubbing with the kittens laid out for me. I may be an old cat but I can still kitten it out when need be. Tomorrow, though, for sure there will be fall out. However, perhaps a little front end loading will be in order to avoid riding the hangover train.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

My Cheating Heart

I feel a little like I am cheating on my lover with my new crushes. (You do know I am talking about running right?)

Yesterday I rode bikes with Steph. It was great fun and I had a blast. Tuesday I had gotten in a 16 miler and decided I needed a day off from running if I wanted to get a 18-20 miler in this week too. Besides, who actually rests on their off days? Not me.

I heard a rumor yesterday morning that Steph had a free 2 hour window so I coerced her into hooking up with me for a ride. I met her at her kids' school in Roswell and rode out towards Crabapple and then came back Crabapple Rd through Roswell proper down to the river. Rather than doing the same-old same-old loop along Azalea and Riverside we headed up Timberbridge to Little Willeo and that spit us out onto Johnson Ferry Road. We stopped by Big Peach for some GU and chatting with Kate, Todd and Joe. Kate is becoming quite the tri chica. Todd was lamenting moving up in the age group and getting older. And biggest news it that Joe is planning on doing the Chicago Marathon with aims of qualifying for the Olympic trials. Joe has been a verified fountainhead of training advice for me this past year and has politely and patiently answered all my inane racing questions. I wish him the best of luck in this new endeavor.

We chatted a bit too long because Steph realized we only had 30 minutes to get back to pick up the girls. We were over 14 miles in and after some discussion we guessed the quickest way back to Roswell was straight out Johnson Ferry Rd to Shallowford. I've ridden JF solo before and while it wasn't great fun it is manageable. Really, I was way more nervous about the curves and steep downhill on Childers Rd. In the end the hairpin turns proved not worth worrying about but the uphill after the bridge that never even occured to me until I was on it was the biggest bitch ever. All I can say is thank God we had stopped for some Gu's. Even still my quads were screaming something nasty at me.

The ride back was a mad dash. We covered the nine miles in just under 30 minutes. Not sure of overall pace--probably around 16-17 mph--both our Garmins suffered from inaccurate timing because neither of us are proficient in remembering to hit pause or start. Doesn't really matter. It was hard and I G-mapped it for the distance. I came up with 23 and some change. Best of all we made it back not a second too late. I cheered Steph on like she was in transition and told her to Go! Go! Go! Get Dags out of kiddie hock! I racked her bike (put in car) and got her shoes and shirt out.

Who cares what the other mom's thought?

And Steph, just think of it as practice for 2 bridges. Next time, (assuming you'll go with me) I promise to better plan the route and be more mindful of our time.

So the ride was a bit tougher than I had planned but totally worth it. I decided to switch my long run to Friday since yesterday was a harder "rest" day than I planned on it being. However, on today's rest day I not only cheated on my boyfriend again (but just a little) but I also screwed myself trying to make it up to him. The plan today was just to do an easy 6 miles.

It would seem that I have problems with running an easy pace on the treadmill. My mentality is to get it done and get it done as quickly as possible. And it has been a few weeks since I have run any run under an 8 minute pace so it did feel good to crank it out. I guess I let it go to my head. I was just enjoying the run and my new playlist that I just kept going. When I hit 8 miles I decided to call it a day-- though I definitely could have gone on. It was 8 miles in 57 minutes and 12 seconds. Felt awesome.

But as soon as I walked it out I started to feel the drag. Uh oh. I brilliantly thought a cool down swim make me rebound. So I headed to locker room and changed for the pool. I got about 600 meters in and decided if I still had any hope of having a decent run tomorrow I better get out of the pool. It was hard because the water felt so good and the swim just effortless. After running hard and then switching to swimming you feel like you are gliding.

I was little down for quitting the swim but it was the right thing to do. Hopefully I will have a nice long run tomorrow. If so, I'll reward myself and make it right with the swim on Saturday. All these boyfriends. What's a girl to do?

Oh and for those of you that do ipod and like me are always on the look out for new tunes here is my current On-the-Go playlist. Great for a ladder workout like I did today.

1.Clocks by Coldplay
2.Well Thoughtout Twinkles by Silversun Pickups
3.Ruby Sees All by Cake
4. The Skin of My Yellow Country Teeth but Clap Your Hands
5.The Sunnyside of the Street by the Pogues
6.The Crane Wife 3 by The Decemberists
7.Kissing Families by Silversun Pickups:

8. Whisky in the Jar by the Pogues
9.I Still Remember by Bloc Party
10. Lazy Eye by Silversun Pickups
11. The Underdog by Spoon:

12. Eyes by Rogue Wave:

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Herding Cats

Or what my mornings are like.

I just don't get it.

I would think that with Beau being four and Carmella being six it should be much easier to get 2 kids in the car and off to school. I mean, come on! I only have 2 kids. How do people with 3 or even 4 or more kids do it? I just have to think they don't have a Beau. Maybe they all have Carmellas. Oh my gosh. Can you imagine that? A family of Carmellas? I'd never have to do anything!

I don't know. I guess it is easier--either that or I've mellowed. I distinctly remember when Beau was around 7 months and crawling (before Beau started moving everything was easier) and Carmella was 3 that once I finally made it to the car and had both kids buckled in I would start crying. Sobbing with head pressed firmly on the steering wheel. I would be all sweaty and spent from the WWW smack down known as putting clothes on writhing Beau and an hour of stale mate negotiations with Carmella over what outfit, how she wanted her hair, which shoes, and exactly what toys she just had to bring. Not to mention the ordeal of actually dressing myself while the 2 of them destroyed any semblance of order I had going in the house during which time they also took off their shoes. I must have had to put shoes on each kid no less than 3 times before we ever made it to the car. Of course once we got in the car they would promptly take their shoes off. Beau even once tossed one out the window.

The hardest thing I had to do that first year with 2 kids was leave the house. The second hardest thing was stay home with 2 kids under 3 and try to keep the house clean. And I mean a close second that most days involved several calls to poison control. I often had to weigh the situation: Should I make that 3rd call to poison control in one day and risk DEFACS wanting to pay me a visit or wait it out and see if Beau got sick from licking the dishwasher detergent cap? What to do. What to do. DEFACS, upon seeing the house in its desperate state, would most definitely decide to take my kids away. So I would weigh it out--phone in one hand, Beau on my hip, Carmella pulling on my leg, whining. And then I would wonder if that would be so bad. You know. If DEFACS came. Saw my obvious unfitness. And took the kids away for awhile? Heck, at least I'd get a little break. . .

Yes. Thoughts of a stressed out and stretched too thin woman. Better now, thank you.

So yes, it was so freaking hard to go places but staying home was worse. At least if we were out I wouldn't have to spend all day cleaning and re-cleaning my house.

So yeah, at least now when I get in the car to go somewhere I am not a sobbing mess. I am however one second short of losing my marbles and pulling my eyebrows out.

Take this morning for example:
6 am I wake and Ryan brings me a cup of coffee and then he leaves for work.
I drink coffee and watch the news until 6:15.
At 6:15 I make my bed and go turn on the lights in the kid's rooms.
Carmella hops right up and puts on her clothes, puts on her shoes and fixes her hair without speaking to me. Then she helps me while I straighten her room and make her bed. All the while I quietly call out to Beau. Carmella goes and gently nudges him and he yowls at her and she shrugs and goes downstairs and gets her dance bag and book bag and daily snack and waits patiently for me to make her breakfast. She turns on the TV.
It is now 6:30 am. I start a load of laundry, start breakfast, dress and continue coaxing the whining lump from his bed.

I finally understand what it is that the lump is saying. It is saying he is too smart for his pants. "Clothes are dumb stupid. I don't want to wear clothes," he says.

"Fine," I say. "Go to school naked but everyone will laugh at you," I warn him as I physically remove him from his bed and then go down stairs and turn the air down to 70.

Beau comes downstairs in his underwear and lays on the kitchen floor. I finish getting breakfast ready while stepping over him as he lays on the floor whining. He tells me that he needs to go to Parker's. He needs to see Parker's toys. He misses Parker's toys. He needs to have a playdate. For real. Super bad. He isn't kidding.

I put breakfast on the table and unload the dishwasher and take Lola out still ignoring Beau who has now gotten off the floor and is sitting at the table. Carmella is particularly disturbed that Beau isn't wearing clothes. She keeps asking me, in disbelief, if I am really going to let Beau go to school naked. I ignore her too.

Finally Beau admits that he is cold and that he would like his "dumb stupid, boring clothes."
Beau dresses while I shove bites of banana in his mouth. I implore Carmella to eat her banana and drink her juice. Beau declares himself the breakfast winner: "You loser Cardella! Cardella is a loser, Cardella is a loser" he sing songs. Carmella shrugs to show how much she cares.

I send kids up to brush their teeth and start cleaning the kitchen. Carmella goes and brushes her teeth. Beau goes in his room and starts pulling out his toys. He drags his rocking motorcycle into the hallway and starts trying to take off his shirt and calls down to me to help him put on his spider man costume. Carmella comes downstairs and waits by the door. I ask to her to put Lola in the crate. I go upstairs and put all of Beau's toys back and brush his teeth for him all while he protests.

It is 7:20am and we go out to the car to leave. Beau runs around the yard. Makes sure he is still fast. Carmella gets in the car and waits. I corral Beau and put him in his seat. We get Carmella to school in less than 5 minutes. Beau has a fit as I pull out of carpool and head back to our neighborhood.

"Take me to happy school! Take me to happy school!" Beau yells from the back, kicking my seat. I tell him I will and I tell him as I tell him every single day that I can not drop him at school til 8:30.

Beau then insists first that he will wait in the car. And like I do every single day I tell him no. Then he says, like he does everyday, that he wants to play outside. He wants to ride his bike. And like I do every single day; I tell him no. I ask him to please just watch TV quietly and to not take off his shoes. I also ask him not wrestle with the dog while I have another much needed cup of coffee, straighten the upstairs, switch out the laundry and inhale a bowl of cereal.

It is now 8 o'clock and I call to Beau that we are leaving in 10 minutes. Please be ready and have your shoes on I tell him. I finish up and turn out the lights and put the air back on 78 and take Lola out one more time.

I come downstairs and find that Beau is covered in dog hair and has his shoes off. I put his shoes on and take his shirt off. I ask him to please go get in the car and wait for me while I go grab him a shirt that is not covered in dog hair.

I lock up the house and expect to find Beau in the car but he is riding his bike in the garage. "Look Mommy," he says when he sees me, "I am riding my bike in circles!"

"That is great. Please put this shirt on and get in the car." I, on the verge of imploding, tell him.

"Where are we going Mommy?"

"Really?" I ask. "To school."

"The happy school?" He says this as if this is the first he is hearing about this all day. "I like school. Can I go to Parker's. I need to see his toys. Wait! Let me get a toy and can I wear my Darth Vador costume?"

Oh.My God.

So it is no wonder that in my frazzled state and once I finally got home to run that I made the mistake of going too long. Oh well, two steps forward one step back right? 16 miles at a 9:02 pace. I should have stuck with my just do 12 miles plan. Whatever. Tomorrow I get to ride my bike and today is only Tuesday and already I am 22 miles (did 6 yesterday) of my planned 50 this week.

Sunday, September 02, 2007


Got it done.
Friday: 6 miles in the evening. Nice run at about an 8:10 pace. I thought about making it 10 but I had brought no water or money or nutrition with me and it was almost 90 degrees. I really needed a run this week where I didn't finish feeling like crap.

Saturday: I got in a surprise 16 miles in the morning. My plan had been to just do 10 but I was feeling good so I upped it to 14 then decided to go ahead and do 16. Same route that I did 10 days ago but instead of a 9:20 pace it was an 8:41 pace. I made it through the run with only one crank gel and some water. What a difference the cooler weather and the absence of a headache makes.

I am sad I got no bike in last week but right now it just isn't a priority and with marathon training the first thing to go will probably be the bike.

Run: 46 miles
Swim: 1 mile
Bike: 0 miles

Still haven't pinned down what marathon/s I am going to do this fall but Ryan seems most on board with the Chickamauga on Nov 10th. It isn't far and since it is a double loop he and the kids would be able to better spectate. I still really want to do Rocket City though. If I were to get to do my ideal fall race plan it would look like this:
Oct 7th Emerald Point.
Oct 27th Silver Comet Half Marathon
Nov 10th Chickamauga Marathon
Nov 22 Atlanta Half Marathon
Dec 8th Rocket City Marathon