Tuesday, January 30, 2007


So, I drove to Savannah for work last week. That's right, 8.5 hours in the car for a 40 minute meeting and lunch. But, the meeting went well and they didn't need much of my legal expertise during the discussions (always a good thing), so it was a successful day. Along the way, I noticed how beautiful Georgia is. You don't always think about it, as you pass all of the piney woods and kaolin mines on I-95 and I-16, but this state is lovely. And Savannah - even the slums are gorgeous. If you ever have reason to visit the federal building in Savannah, please note that they do not have a lobby or bathroom that you may access without the presence of the party you plan to meet. No good after a 4.5 hour drive. There is, however, a lovely coffee/dessert shop just down the street (Walnut St, I think) that had good coffee, yummy scones, delicious-looking sandwiches, clean potties and all manner of chocolate, including chocolate thongs. I did not point these out to my colleagues when we returned for them to use the facilities, but I did buy a chocolate bar with chiles and nibs in it for Doug. No dice for him, but I have really enjoyed it. Yum. Please also note that if visiting Savannah, you need to take change for the parking meters or buy some stuff at the aforementioned coffee place so that you have enough to cover your time.

In other news, our training program called for Virigina and me to run 4x800 speed repeats, a 4 mile tempo run and an 8 mile long run this week. Viriginia and I found this program independently and are following it loosely to train for the ING race. I am following it more loosely than Virginia since it's not my first half (loved writing that, by the way) and my knee is still touchy. So, here is what I did this past week:

Tues: 4.02 mile tempo run in the flats at a 9:11 pace. This was not a hard run. I've not done any tempo runs since August, so I was pleased to get the four miles without my knee crapping out.
Thurs: 3 miles of hill repeats (sprint up, walk down) at a combined 9:18 pace. This was very difficult because it was cold, the hills are hard and I had a lot of phlegm. I was definitely sucking it at the end.
Sun: 6 miles at a 10:00 pace at the park (the flat one, not the Rec). Not hard, I probably could have run further but I didn't want to hurt the knee.

Pretty good, if I do say so myself. I've not been looking much at the training program because I'm so far off of it - especially the tempo part. To train based on my regular 5K pace, my tempo run should be at an 8:27 pace. I didn't even do the math for the speed work, and cross-training, forget about it! I'm off to a good start for this week, though, so hopefully the next post will be all about that.

Also, a friend of mine just found out that her baby may have a heart problem. They don't know how serious the problem is yet, and the baby won't be born until spring, but say a prayer for them please.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

P says pppp

It's P week at Annika's school this week. For that reason, they are wearing pajamas to school today, having popcorn and a movie for snacktime and a pizza party for lunch. For breakfast, we even had pancakes. I'm out, though, and can't think of any other "p"s to have for dinner except peas. Any ideas?

In other news, I finally came through on my promise to Dorothy and gave blood yesterday. They were having a drive in the office park at work. The participation was low, but overwhelmingly female. You would think that the men would be more likely to give, but not this day. It had been 8 years (I had signed up to donate one other time, but had to cancel when I got pregnant with Dagny) since my last donation, so I am surprised at how punk I feel today despite not feeling light-headed at all yesterday (usually I do). Maybe it is a consequence of getting old. If you want to give, here is the site to make an appointment. You can search by your zip code for a convenient location and make an appointment online.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Patience is a Virtue

Patience is a Virtue. One of Mike's sisters mentioned this in a comment over at Hollandsenieuwe. My mom used to tell us this (in the really annoying sing-songy voice) when I was a kid and boy, did we hate it.

So right now, I don't have any patience. I knew that something would fall through the cracks when I started my permanent job (that's right - the temporary, part-time gig turned into a permanent, more-hours but still not-full-time gig). When I started the temp project, birthday cards fell off my plate. Until last year, every cousin, aunt, uncle, other relative or friend got a birthday card on or near (except for Tara, whose birthday has always confused me) their special day - and most got a handwritten "message" from Annika. No more, after July of 2006 we terminated the cards because I never got around to buying any in August and we just slid downhill from there.

Anyway, despite Doug's herculean efforts around the house (relieving the sitter in the afternoon, cooking outrageously good dinners, helping me pack lunches), I find myself losing my marbles on an increasingly frequent basis. I'm going to have to work hard to find something else to lose so that the patience can stay on my plate and I won't yell at Annika because she has antagonized Dagny for the seventeenth time of the morning or just not gotten dressed when asked.

This short temper could be related to my crappy training. Natalie asked how my training for the ING half-marathon was going - in a word: badly. I don't know how long one is supposed to "recover" from a half-marathon, but I'm pretty sure that I've exceeded that time and have moved on over into either complete sloth or just re-injury. Because I ran my race at my training pace, took Tylenol and fueled as Joe recommended, it was not challenging cardio-vascularly and I didn't feel used-up at the end. However, my knee was toast. I have only run 7 miles each of the last two weeks (hopefully more this week because I have a date to run with Virginia this afternoon). That darn IT band just doesn't want to cooperate with my plans.

However, on Thursday I was able to run the loop around our block by running the uphills and walking the downhills. Since I haven't done any speed or hill runs since September, the loop was a challenge - I was actually sore! Maybe today will be the beginning of something good.

Now, if I could just find something else to "lose". . .

Speaking of which, I just noticed that I lost both Jason and Camille from the sites list during my change -you guys are clearly not paying attention either!

Tuesday, January 16, 2007


I just noticed that I had accidentally dropped Corinne off of the blogs list. She is back now. Rest easy.

In other news, while I cleaned up after dinner today my amazing husband made chicken salad for me and the girls to take for lunch tomorrow. From Paula Dean's recipe that he looked up on the internet.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Walt Disney Half Marathon Race Report + photos

At long last, here is my race report with photos of the girls from our visit to Disney World last weekend. The first is Dagny wearing Annika's Minnie hat. Then, Annika inside the mouth of one of the sharks from the Nemo ride at Epcot. This was originally an informative ride about the ocean, but now it is an informative ride with Nemo and friends. Dagny and Annika LOVED it. At the end was a cool play area (where the shark is) filled with cool shark facts and children. Next, Annika with her face painted as "princess kitty" - her choice. She wore the face paint for two days until it wore off (after we were home).

Last, Dagny gets to know (or pounds, whichever) Eyeore at the Crystal Palace restaurant. If you go to Disney World, this place is great for lunch because (1) the food is good, (2) they have the Pooh characters, and (3) it is very close to the baby center, which has clean changing tables for use and baby supplies for purchase.

Lest you be disappointed at the lack of running photos, the following links show me at the race finish and post-finish with my medal (not beautiful - I'm not Miss Photogenic). Please note that in the finishing photo, you can clearly see the reason that our friend missed me at the finish (Doug was off placating Dagny, who had lost her marbles).

On race morning (Saturday), I woke at 2:58am. It was two minutes before I planned to get up, but 10 minutes before the alarms. I took some Tylenol and started my coffee in the coffeemaker and my oatmeal in the hotpot. After showering, coffee, and as much oatmeal with soymilk as I could manage, I got dressed and left - without waking Doug. I was to meet our friend Joe at 3:50 so that he could drive me to the race. He volunteered to do this so that he could scope it out for his marathon on Sunday. Alas, we left one important part out of our plan - WHERE to meet. He wasn't in his room and I had no phone. After a moment of adrenaline panic, I banged on our door and woke Doug up so that he could call Joe on his cellphone. Bless him, Doug called Joe for me and we were on our way!

Race morning was warm and damp. Florida is quite humid. Disney does not skimp on any aspect of their race, so I was able to take care of "business" no less than three times before we even got to the starting area at 5:30am. I also ate some more Tylenol before the start (Doug's advice). The start of my race was on the road just beyond the Epcot parking lots. The wheelchair racers started first, then the fast folks (wave A) and then my group (wave B). Wave C brought up the rear. I thought that I was in the middle of the wave, but perhaps was at the back. Mickey, Donald and Goofy started the race for us and shot fireworks for each starting group. It was slow going at the beginning and shortly before the mile 1 mark, the folks next to me dropped to a walk because we were essentially running in place. After we ramped down to World Drive, the crush eased a bit and we were able to get to a better pace. Miles 2 and 3 passed without significant speed as we all plodded along in the dark. I realized how slow the first miles had been and gave up all hope of keeping to my 10 min per mile goal pace. As we ran, I found and chatted with Brittany Brown from Kansas, who I had met as we stood in line to get our numbers at the Expo on Friday. Go Brittany! At each mile volunteers dispensed water and gatorade in appropriately colored cups and there were portopotties.

As we approached the Transportation and Ticket Center (could have been Magic Kingdom), there were cheerleaders chanting and clapping for us and then two divergent paths with music (country and rock). The sun was starting to rise at this point, but I still didn't need my visor yet. Joe had advised me to fuel after 40-50 minutes of activity. He trained hard for his marathon and read a lot about fueling. Because of my knee, I hadn't done any training runs long enough to require fueling and really if the point of exercise is to burn calories, why would I consume extra ones (other than beer?). Seriously, other than water, I had consumed nothing while running. So, because the local Target has Sports Beans (made by Jelly Belly) and Joe said that they weren't horrible, I packed those in the key pocket of my shorts. As we came into the Magic Kingdom, I busted out the beans - because of the danger of hurling, Joe advised consuming water at the stops before and after eating them. Because of the humidity and my lack of experience at this distance, I consumed water everywhere. I munched on my delicious jelly beans as we ran through Tomorrowland, past Space Mountain (and the real potties), the Teacups, and the Carousel. I stopped eating to pass through Cinderella's castle (they take photos there, you know) and finished them up on the way out through Frontierland. At this point, the race volunteers were handing out bananas. I almost passed them, but ate a few bites of one as I ran just in case the beans were too "hot" for my tummy. The beans might be harder to consume if one were running at a faster pace - for a first-time racer, they were perfect. I wasted a whole mile concentrating on eating my beans one by one without dropping any.

The sun was fully up by this time and I realized that I was making better time as we passed miles 6, 7 and 8 out of the Kingdom, past the Grand Floridian and the golf course. This guy said that this was the difficult part of the race because of the boring scenery, but I loved it - so green and relaxing. Also, as I exited the Kingdom, Annika appeared in my headphones, yelling "Go, Mommy, Go!" Doug had secretly taped her with several different uplifting messages and uploaded them to my i-pod. I laughed out loud and then got misty. What a great husband. He also put my tunes in a good order, which I didn't realize and messed up because I started with Whitesnake instead of Christina Aguilera. Anyway, after mile 7, I decided that a potty-break was in order so I waited until the mile 8 marker since it was over halfway and past any distance that I had ever run before. At mile 8 there were two potties facing the road and about 8 facing away. I ran to the "away" ones and there was NO line. Marvelous.

Lighter and with a spring in my step, I continued down the road, listening to my tunes, taking my earphones out to listen to the marching bands and the steel drum band and the DJs who liked the road. It was so much fun. I didn't stop smiling the whole time. At mile 8, prior to the potty break, my left foot started to hurt. I thought perhaps my shoes were askew and tried to stretch it as I ran. The knee was OK - a little stiff but nothing bad. I decided that I could start running faster. Miles 8-10 passed without incident, though I did figure out that the Team-in-Training coaches were running ahead on every mile and then waiting for their peeps to come by before sprinting ahead again - those TNT folks and their spectators were great. I made a mental note to require all friends running in the ING race to wear matching shirts (a joiner, I TOLD you). At mile 10, I figured that I was close enough to the finish to run at racing speed. I tried to keep up with this beautiful woman (dark green singlet, dark skin, single long braid, a very tall, good-looking man passed her in mile 10/11 and gave her a kiss) because she was running so well. She passed me, though, on the flat part of the highway as we went over the overpass. Because we were on the highway for the last 3 miles, there was a big crown in the road. Inclines of all kinds seem to make my knee hurt, so I ran a lot in the grass. There was less pounding there too, seemed like. Anyway, there was another food stop at mile 12/13 where volunteers dispensed Cliff Shot Bloks. These were sour apple flavor and smelled heavenly. However, it was nearly mile 13 - who needs calories there? Not me. I sprinted past the beautiful woman in the green shirt, into Epcot, around the Christmas tree and straight to the finish. I had the best time. It was so much fun - I couldn't stop smiling all day. This was the perfect first half-marathon. No water/fuel/potty worries, plenty of music, cheering, distraction - so much fun! I definitely would do this race again, if finances permit, but I would save the park visiting until after the race and after the other kids are back in school to avoid the crowds.

Friday, January 12, 2007

New Look

I'm a joiner. I admit it. Any group that I think might be fun or exciting, I'm in - tennis team, track club, golf group, casserole ministry, mom's group(s), alumni association, etc.

So, after Anne and Dorothy updated their layouts with the new Google Blogger, I had to do the same. I like blue better than green anyway. It makes me happier.

I lost some of my links when I made the layout change so if you think there is a cool blog or link that I should show, let me know.

Qwack, Qwack, Qwack

So, during one of the many Christmas festivities last month, my sister related a story to me of how Annika told her that her eyes were cracking. "Ha!" we taunted, "your eyes are cracking!"

Yesterday, Annika told me the same thing. "Mommy, why are your eyes red?" she asked. "Because they are tired," I replied. "I think they are cracking" she chirped, "like eggs."

Please note that each instance of the letters "r" or "l" is either silent or sounds like a "w" - "Mommy, why are youw eyes wed? I fink they awe cwacking."

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Garmin's Results

For my half-marathon at Walt Disney World, here are Garmin's results by Mile number, in minutes and seconds. Clearly I should have moved towards the front of my corral, but perhaps the slow start allowed me to finish as easily as I did:

  1. 11:48
  2. 10:47
  3. 10:52
  4. 10:28
  5. 10:05
  6. 10:08
  7. 9:31
  8. 9:56
  9. 10:10
  10. 9:53
  11. 9:15
  12. 8:51
  13. 8:25
  14. this wasn't actually a mile, but 0.41 miles in 2:53

I'm not sure why Garmin thinks I went farther than 13.1 miles. It could be that I forgot to press stop at the finish or did it late - I don't know. Please note the negative splittage is marred only by my visit to the porto-potty in mile 9. Stopping at all but one of the previous 9 water stops made this necessary - it was humid, folks! I'll post a full race report later (maybe later in the week) with some photos of the girls at Disney.


Displaying 1 to 1 of 1
Unofficial Race Results

6:15:22 AM EST
Chip Time: 2:13:15
Clock: 2:28:01
Pace: 10:09
Overall: 2683
Gender: 1039
Division: 165

Questions? Please contact ChampionChip USA

So, you probably can't understand any of that, so I'll explain. I started my very first half marathon (DisneyWorld 2007) on Saturday at 6:15:22 am. At the 5K mark, my chip said that my time was 34:54, at the 10K mark I was at 1:07:12, at 15K I was at 1:39:13 and finished at 2:13:15. My pace was 10:09 minutes per mile and you can see the placement.

What you can't see is that the Disney Half is a lot like the Peachtree Road Race. There are a zillion people. For the first 3-4 miles, traffic was very congested but after that I was able to find places to run. I'll post my mile splits later, but I had a great race. I stopped for 10 of the 12 water breaks and one potty break plus the slow start and still finished in a decent (if not record-breaking) time. It was really fun and I am so looking forward to the ING Georgia half in March.

Monday, January 01, 2007

The Best Party

So, Doug and I are not much for New Year's Eve parties. We had one here the year after Annika was born, which was fun but usually we do something low-key and frequently don't make to the ball drop before falling asleep.

Last night was no exception. We invited some local friends (and by local, I mean 5 miles or less) over, with kids for tapas and beverages. The kids got sparkling apple juice (not a hit), macaroni and cheese and little cheese pizzas. Sara brought a delicious cookie cake and we had Bellinis. Doug kept refilling my glass so I might have been over-served, but it was a lovely evening. We did a haphazard clean-up after everyone left and were asleep by 9:30pm. Gotta love the bring-the-kids party. We will be having a lot more of those.

New Year's goals/resolutions:

(1) Have more patience for my children.
(2) Have more empathy for my family.
(3) Run more races.
(4) Faster.