Friday, December 25, 2009


I'm off to San Francisco tomorrow for a trip with my bestest buddies.

But I'll leave you with a promise of new and different bloggie things in 2010 and one more list!!


1) Steak Tar tare is raw!! Did you know that? Cause I didn't! I thought I was ordering some kind of sesame marinated steak tips. You can imagine my surprise when the plate arrived at the table. I was good, though. Go figure.

2) Good things come to those who wait. After two and a half years of interrupted sleep, the rooster is gone! (Some kind of feud between the adjacent neighbors that involved a call to the board of health. I stayed out of it. I just liked the outcome)

3) It's possible to get seasonal affective disorder in the summer. With the cold, rainy temperatures that plagued New England this year, I was schlepping around in a hooded sweatshirt and an aire of depression all summer. I didn't cheer up until almost September, when the sun came out. Oh well. Next year.

4) The Dalai Lama is funny. When J and I went to see him last May, I don't know what I was expecting; maybe for him to come floating out on a cloud of wisdom and enlightenment. I certainly did not expect him to put a Patriot's cap on his head and do the "ta-da" hand signal. He has a great laugh, too.

5) You can grill bananas! Just chuck em on the grill, skin and all. Maybe add some chocolate chips or mini marshmallows. They're good! Go figure.

6) Spices are wicked expensive! After Isabella and I went to that cooking class last fall, I figured I'd try out some of those yummy, spice-heavy recipes. That resulted in what I now refer to as "the $40.00 side dishes" Looks like I'll have to do a lot more spicy cooking in 2010 to offset the cost!

7) Bars Close at 1:00 on Cape COd. Picture it: the look of utter bewilderment on my face as I realize that I DO NOT have another hour to sober up before getting booted. And then picture me walking up and down Main Street, Hyannis for that hour so that I can drive home. (Main Street, Hyannis is surprisingly busy at 1:00 am)

8) People have really strong feelings about microwave popcorn. Some people think it's a big bag of delicious. Some a big, smelly mess. And some think microwave popcorn is the devil incarnate covered in carcinogous cheese dust. Do not ever argue with one of these people about microwave popcorn. Just agree with everything they say and back away slowly. Then run. Very fast.

9) I'm not the only one on earth who is afraid of turtlenecks. Glamour magazine, January 2010 issue: Sarah Jessica Parker says she has panic attacks if she tries to wear a turtleneck. (That's because the turtleneck is trying to kill you, Sarah. By strangulation. I totally understand)

10) I don't believe in age. Or numbers. Ok. SO maybe I'm quoting Paul Rudd here. As Kunu. In Forgetting Sarah Marshall. But I stand behind this sentiment whole-heartedly. It's brilliant! It may be my new life philosophy. Especially since I'm crossing over into what some consider "wicked old". Luckily, I feel like I'm getting younger!

2010, watch out!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

signs of winter

Winter is officially here. No, not because solstice has passed. But because I am sporting the always attractive "chapped gotee.That's when you blow your nose so much that everything from your nostrils to your chin in a red, raw, inflammed mess.

I am so sexy I can't stand myself sometimes!

Monday, December 21, 2009

December decluttering

I'm looking forward to longer days and more sunshine, albeit cold and snowy days.
I've been lax on updates on the decluttering, but I assure you, the decluttering continues. It's been a good year, getting rid on one thing a day (or more). It seemed to be a better fit for me than just going through a giant clean sweep once or twice over the year. Now it feels like a habit; I find myself looking at things differently and letting go more easily. I've also reassessed my buying habits and I'm not buying things unless I really need them.
Plus, I've come up with some different projects for the course of 2010. (more on that later)
Week of Dec 1 thru 7:
I got rid of 4 books: 2 meant something to me during a different time in my life but no longer seemed necessary. 2 were books I had started and haven't finished a few times. This week, I thought: "why do I have to finish them? I don't even like them!" Into the donation bag they went. I also put a sweatshirt, a t-shirt, and a pair of socks into a clothing donation bag.
Week of Dec 8 thru 14:
Getting Xmas gifts together to wrap, I pulled out the rubbermade container of things set aside for re-gifting! Four gifts pulled out and re-gifted! Plus, I was able to wrap all my gifts this year without buying wrapping paper, tissue paper, or ribbon. I pulled out the gift bags, leftover wrapping paper, tissue paper, and ribbon from last year and reused it all this year. I went through all the papers on my desk and pulled the papers I didn't need anymore to the recycling pile. Finally, the quickest turnaround of all: I got a gift card in a birthday card from a friend. Though I really liked it, there is somebody in work who really really needs a gift card like the one I just got. So I passed it on.
Week of Dec 15 thru 21:
I got a new jacket as a present. So I got rid on an older jacket. And while I was at it, a fleece, a pair of jeans, a hat, some gloves, and 2 pairs of socks. Into the clothing donation bag. I know somebody out there needs these more than I do.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Booty Buster Challenge Update

This week, I was back on track. No overdoing it in the weight department. Just following the training plan. And other than a pretty miserable long run in really cold weather, things went well.

December 14: 4 mile run on treadmill at 8:47 pace and 30 min of weight training 5 points

December 15: 7 mile interval run at 8:18 average pace. Got the veggie servings! 8 points

December 16: 75 minutes of yoga and veggies. 3 points

December 17: Bike 15 miles 5 points

December 18: Long run 15 miles at 10 min pace 15 points

December 19: 1 hour group exercise class and veggies: 3 points

December 20: Does running up and down a hill dragging kids on sleds count? I'm giving myself 2 points for that!

TOTAL: 41 points!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Today, I awoke feeling kind of stuffed and sniffily. (No doubt a direct result of the long run in the cold from yesterday) I was sooo super-tempted to just sleep in for the morning. But I had promised a friend I would meet her at the gym for Zumba class. I've never been to zumba before, but I used to be an aerobics freak and she was intimidated at the thought of going to a group class. So I told her I would accompany her.

It was really fun! I forgot how fun group exercise classes could be, with the right instructor! Plus, I did feel a little better after a good sweat in a warm environment.

I had an appointment to get new tires for my jeep afterward. Except that today was a Saturday and they were predicting the first big snow storm of the season tonite. So what I thought would be a one hour ordeal turned out into 5 hours.

My dad was nice enough to pick me up at the tire place and let me hang out there until my car was done. But all my plans for last minute shopping and sending were shot. Looks like I'll be trying out those new tires tomorrow!

Friday, December 18, 2009

running in a cranky mood

I haven't been blogging a lot lately. Not because I've been busy...I have been busy, but that ususally doesn't stop me from shooting out a post.

No, I haven't posted because I've been cranky. I don't know why I've been so cranky. It's just that everything seems to be rubbing me the wrong way lately.

Some bloggers build each and every post around a rant on what is rubbing them the wrong way. I try not to do that. In general, that's not how I am. And I try to just deal with it rather than sharing my crankiness with the world. (Although many times if I go off on a rant about how cranky I am, friends say it's funny, not cranky.) So maybe I'd be doing the world a favor.

Today, I changed my mind. Today, I decided that since turning 40, I've earned the right to be an old curmudgeon and piss and moan about everything. (Also, since turning 40, I've changed to old person vocabulary and regularly use words like curmudgeon)

So here's my reason for crankiness today: long runs on cold days.

Today was my 15 mile training run. I'm doing the Myrtle Beach Marathon in February with my friend from South Carolina. Which means the bulk of my long runs take place in December and January. I understand that this is completely my own fault. Most intelligent people understand that lots of long runs in December and January is a bad idea when you live in Massachusetts. I am not like most intelligent people. (As a matter of fact, I am beginning to think that I'm not as intelligent most people)

When you run long distances in cold, windy weather (high of 26 today, always windy along the Cape Cod Canal) the prep work is an event in and of itself. First, you have to dress in layers. Breathable, wicking layers that also repel wind. Although sports catalogs would have you believe that their products can perform all of these tasks perfectly (keep warm, repel wind, wick away sweat), in reality, the performance is somewhat less than perfect. Then, you have to make the decision about your body parts NOT covered by your performance wear. Hat, or no hat. Gloves, or no gloves. Face mask or not. I've had days where I dropped item after item along the running trail on the run out and then picked them up again on the run back. I like to avoid that if possible.

Today, I opted for no hat, no gloves, no face mask. But I did prep all exposed skin. Once I had my layers, my ipod, my sneakers, and a thin layer of vaseline on my face and hands to protect against wind burn, I was good to go.

There's one thing you can't prepare for no matter how you try. Long runs in the cold tend to be very....mucus-y. There's lots of sniffing and wiping and hocking lugies. And I don't even have a cold!

Plus, this is ALMOST the shortest day of the year. So even though I timed my run for the early afternoon, before the sun sets, the shadows get long very early. Which means the temperature drops in the shade. And the aforementioned mucus, well, it freezes. ( I'm so sexy when I run!)

Finally, to top off the whole cranky ordeal is the fact that in warm weather running, you get more and more flexible and warm as you run. But today, around mile 10 as the shadows got long and the temp dropped, I got really tight in the hamstrings and calves! Ah, crap.

When I arrived home from my supposedly invigorating and healthy activity, J met me at the door.

"Hi! How was your run?"

My response?

"Oh, shut up."

(It's ok. She thinks its hilarious when I'm cranky. Bitch.)

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

the big one

Well, it's here. It's really really here. Today I turned 40. FORTY!! And I have no idea how that is even possible seeing that I just graduated from high school like, last week.

J joking asked me "Is this what you thought your life would be like at 40?" And I joked back "Living above your garage, single, and badly in need of new tires?" But really? I never gave thought as to what my life would be like when I was forty, because I never saw myself as being that old.

I don't feel old, though. I ran 7 miles today at an 8:18 pace, which may not seem fast to some, but is fairly flying to me. And my big joke today was: NOW I CAN OFFICIALLY BE A COUGAR! Does anyone ever really feel old? Or are you always in your early 20s in your head?

When I turned 30, I had a bit of a crisis, thinking: "Oh my gosh! I don't have a PhD, I only speak one language, I haven't run a marathon, I haven't made a million dollars, I don't play an instrument, I haven't met Keanu Reeves....I'm so far behind!"

Now, I don't feel like I'm in crisis mode. I'm like...I'm not fluent but I can do physical therapy in Spanish, I've run a couple marathons and I'm training for my 3rd (and my first half iron man), I'm financially stable, I can strum come chords on the guitar, I don't really want a PhD, and, well, Keanu is out there somewhere. (I can't be a cougar with him, though. He's older than me)

I feel good.

I feel like I'm where I should be. For now.

And I have some lists to go write. Because even though I feel good, I can't possibly turn 40 without making a big list of things to do.

Oh, what a year it's going to be!

Monday, December 14, 2009

booty buster challenge week 3

Has it really been a week since I blogged? I've been around. Just terribly, terribly busy. I've been writing blog posts in my head, but apparently, nothing made it to the screen. 2 big work projects due last week, running, Xmas cards, Xmas tree, Xmas shopping, and 12 hour work days have been demanding my time. (I'm tired just writing about it)

But I always get to my recap posts!


Monday Dec 7: 3 miles at 9 min pace and lifting (chest and back) 4 points

Tuesday Dec 8: 7 mile interval run at 8:30 pace and lifting (arms and shoulders) 8 points

Wednesday Dec 9: YOGA!! I love yoga. 2 points

Thursday Dec 10: 40 minute bike, 12 miles: 4 points

Friday Dec 11: Ok, here's where I messed up this week. I've been lifting weights since I was 14 years old. I love lifting weights. My weight lifting changed significantly after I started participating in endurance events. But sometimes I just WANT to LIFT!!! And today, I did. Legs. 3 mile run at 9 minute pace and heavy leg lifting. 4 points

which is why on Saturday Dec 12: I did nothing because I was too sore.

and on Sunday December 13: when I was supposed to run 10 miles, I was only able to bike for 30 minutes at a ridiculously show pace. 2 points.

Lesson learned.

TOTAL: 24 points

Monday, December 7, 2009

booty buster challenge


Well, after a great week one, week two was a little disappointing. But, December has a way of creeping in and stealing time away. Plus, my weekend class was much longer than expected (if I were smart, I would have read the syllabus before actually getting to the class and discovering it was an 11 hour day on Saturday).

And most importantly, sometimes staying on the phone with a friend while she cries for two hours is more important than working out.

Monday November 30: Ran slow 3 miles (10 minute pace). Lifted weights (chest and back).
(4 points)

Tuesday December 1: 6 miles interval running (8:39 average pace). Lifted weights (shoulders and arms) (7 points)

Wednesday December 2: Went to a birthday party. Only had time for a push-up ladder and planks (1 point)

Thursday December 3: phone crisis! (0 points)

Friday December 4: Long run--13 miles-- along canal (9:42 pace) (13 points)

Saturday December 5: 11 hour class! (0 points)

Sunday December 6: Class again (0 points)

WEEKLY TOTAL: 25 points. (a lot less than 47 last week, but what can you do?)

Next week should be better!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

feeling stuck

Today was just one of those days.

I feel like my life is too small. Today was a very small day. I don't feel like I accomplished much. I had a bunch of cancellations; the new evaluations on queue couldn't reschedule for today. So I had some downtime. I hate downtime.

I feel like things are moving backwards when there is downtime. I wished I were at home cleaning.

When I got home, I learned that some people who are on the periphery of my circle (used to be right smack dab in the middle of the circle, but then they circled away). Anyway, these people are having some big changes in their lives. One possibly good; one pretty bad, but expected. Big changes are heading their way.

And me? I'm Even Steven.

I talked to my friend, R, at whose house I'm staying this weekend: she said "Nothing's going on? But your life always seemed so exciting. Why is nothing going on?"

Because I'm Even Steven. I hate being Even Steven. I feel like I'm moving backwards.

My bohemian hair is tangling ferociously: I want to dye it pink. My gypsy tendencies are rearing their insatiable heads: I want to look for a new job. My wandering feet are getting very, very itchy, like my winter skin. I want to run, run, run and never stop.

I'll have to settle for 13 miles on the canal this Friday.

Because Even Steven needs to finish some stuff before the gypsy can be set free.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

December goals

December first...wasn't it just August? It sure feels that way. But when I look back at, say February, it seems like 5 years ago. Time is funny that way. It just doesn't seem like December should be here, though. I feel like I haven't changed enough this year, ya know?

Anyway, in spite of saying that December came too fast, writing November goals seems like forever ago. What the heck did I even write?

Oh yeah...

1) Work out 30 times in 30 days. I'll give myself almost credit. I worked out every day that I wasn't sick in November, which equals 27 in 30 days. (I counted walking all over New York City as a workout)

2) Up the water intake. Again, almost credit. I definitely was drinking more water this month, but it still doesn't feel like a habit.

3) Celebrate Isabella's birthday in New York City. Success! Too successful! hence, the "almost" on goal one.

4) Make a kick-ass side dish for Thanksgiving. Well, I'LL call it a success. I made some spicy cranberry chutney (recipe to follow) and potato-pumpkin rosti which were good. But as I learned years ago (and re-learned this year) people like their old stand-bys and don't like to be adventuresome on Thanksgiving. Oh well. More leftovers for me.

5) Lost 10# by December 15. Ok, this just ain't happening. I have been losing and regaining the same four pounds all year. Right now, on December 1, I am the exact same weight I was on Jan 1. But two pants sizes smaller. I know this about myself. Yet I still continue to fight it. I'm fighting still, though. The number continues to bug me, though the pants size doesn't

6) Buy new running shoes. Done.

7) Turn in my application for advanced clinician at work. Done.

8) Read three books from the bookshelf: Done. Got rid of two, kept one.

9)Get all details of my December trip to Cali finalized. Done

10)Continue to declutter. yeah, yeah, yeah.

ANd now on to December:

1) Holiday Booty Buster! Great motivation to keep up with the working out and marathon training.

2) Get the details of February trip and March trip finalized.

3) Finish on line class and turn in completed form.

4) Finish and submit article to health times.

5) Send out Xmas card and letter!!

6) 6-8 glasses of water per day.

7) Four (4!) books from bookshelf this month

8) Try one more new recipe

9) Have a great Christmas.

10) Have an even better birthday!

Happy December everyone!