Running is a big question mark that’s there each and every day. It asks you, ‘Are you going to be a wimp or are you going to be strong today?' - Peter Maher, Irish-Canadian Olympian

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

From the depths of depression....

come great ideas or at least ones that will provide some action and meaning. Years ago, there was a vegetarian group in Syracuse that met once a month or every other month, for dinner. A devoted, core group, meaning me and some friends ( okay, one. The other one thinks we are crazy) are thinking about reviving this tradition. We figure we can approach restaurants, ask them to host us for a vegan meal on their closed day (usually a Monday) or a traditionally slow night. They can choose the menu, as long as it is all vegan, serve it as a buffet or as a sitdown, set a price and we will try to get people to come. We will charge the price of the meal and a buck or two extra for the gratuity. We think, *think* we might be able to get 15-20 people, at least initially. I am thinking we should be able to do this for $16 or less a person.

What is in it for the restaurants? Exposure to a new audience. Business on a traditionally closed or slow night. What is in it for the people? A chance to socialize with other like minded diners. A chance to try different restaurants, different cuisines and new food.

What do you think? Good idea? Bad idea? Any ideas for names? We should run a 'Name the Group' contest! LOL

P*sspoor start to the week

Miserable, just absolutely miserable. Weather sucks so I can't run. Treadmill aggravates the knee so I can't run. I am going to have to start right back up walking 1 minute *grrrrr* Sunday is the Mid Winter Blues run and it is forecasted to be a high of 15, low of 9. Which means it will be 15 degrees at 3 pm and the race is at 9:45 am. Man, I just don't think I am that tough..... My dogs are stir crazy, can't get out for walks. If it warms up enough, the road salt hurts their feet. I tried paw wax but that only lasts for so long. How did the Native Americans and settlers do it? I sent an invoice yesterday and the address was something like Loma Rosa Catalina road or something. That was good for a half hour day dream about how it must be like to live somewhere place where they name the roads Loma Rosa Catalina instead of Snowbank Way.

Son #1 took off the other day for who knows where. Somewhere out west. I feel like I just sent a little model boat adrift in the big huge ocean, all at mercy of the currents, the sea life and huge passing ocean liners.

I interviewed for a job, that I want, that I can do great and I don't think I am going to get it. Why? Because I am a lousy interview. Inspite of hours of coaching, practice sessions and all of B's career center expertise - I went in and choked. It is one thing not to get a job because you are not right for it. It is another thing to blow the chance at a great job because you suck.

We did our monthly budget fight for February and I am already regretting the extra mortgage money decision. I AM TIRED OF HAVING NO MONEY. NO MONEY. NADA. ZIP. ZILCH. I have been without money before (hey, I was a single parent with 3 small kids, going to school full-time, I know NO MONEY!) But it sucks to have NO MONEY when there is money there, iykwim.

In the depths of my misery, I come across this. I really need to frequent the thrifty, frugal sites more for inspiration and encouragement. Love what you have. That will be my mantra for the week. Love what you have.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Lunch call

My fav lunch of the week - inari. So easy to make and so delish.
Rice, tofu sauteed in asian bbq sauce, salad, crackers, cranberry
vinegarette and pb for the crackers

Pierogies, citrus sections, baggie of triscuits, walnuts and craisins. vegan sour cream and peanut butter in my new little smidgets. Gotta love ebay!

End of the week, desperation lunch :-/ Tofu sauteed in rosemary, balsamic marinade, over rice. Butternut squash, organic mini pineapple rings and 3 mini pumpkin muffins.

Will this week ever end, real desperation bento! LOL Tofurkey beer brat slices over sauerkraut with some spicy mustard. Container of citrus segments and a few mini pumpkin muffins.

My fav lunch of the week was the inari. It is just so good and satisfying. I could eat it every day!

The Audacity of Hope

otherwise known as 'I am changing my political affliation so that I can vote in the NY Democratic Presidential Primary'

Barack Obama, from his 2004 Keynote Speech at the Democratic National Convention:

I am going on the record as saying I am not buying what 'they' are selling. 'They' like to raise incidious doubts by asking innocent questions......'Is America ready for a black in the White House?' 'He doesn't have much governing experience' 'He hasn't done much politically' Bullsh*t to all of that.


We are ready for someone with compassion, someone that 'looks' like America, someone that can speak to our better ideals. I wish it was Hillary. I would have loved to vote a Democratic woman into the White House. But I have come to the reluctant conclusion that it can't be Hillary. Oh, I believe she would be completely adequate (or at least wouldn't cost the lives of thousands of innocents by going to war on trumped up evidence, but we won't go down that particular road right now) but I think we have come to a point when we need more than adequate. We need a leader who will speak to our higher ideals, who will repair our relations throughout the world and who can encourage us to do better.

I remember hearing Obama give this speech live and thinking, 'Wow, what is this?' The husb, who is the most skeptical, non political person I know, was watching and said to me, 'He makes you believe it can be different, doesn't he?' He also is changing his party affliation so to be able to vote in the primaries.

So, early, early on in what will be a long, long, political season, that is where we stand now. Position subject to change :-)

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

SOTU Address

"This country is pursuing a new strategy in Iraq, and I ask you to give it a chance to work."

Me: "No. 3,062 times No."

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Not the bee's knees

My weak point is usually my feet but my right knee has been bothering me for about a week. The inside of my knee was tender to the touch (I was showing a client how to use the hip adductor and I thought I was going to come right up off the seat trying to press the pads inwards).

Today, it was 0 degrees when I woke up so I decided to treadmill it at the Y before meeting another client. I got through two miles before having to stop. Now my knee is sore continually, it hurts to walk and to bend.

I hate going to the doctor's because my usual experience is they don't do a hell of a lot but I am making an appointment tomorrow morning. The Midwinter Blues Run is Feb. 4 and Tipp Hill is a month later. If I can't run those, well, I am not going to be happy.

As an addendum, all my internet research hasn't turned up any plausible explanation for the knee pain. That sucks. It is partly the reason why I don't go to the doctor's. Why waste time and money when it is easier and quicker to self-diagnose? I am usually better at it too :-)

Mingling with the Masses

This morning, the zipper on my favorite running bra broke. I only had three to begin with and was constantly doing wash. I decided to take the plunge and for once and for all, get enough of them. This spending was not in the budget (maybe someday I will blog about the budgeting that is done in this house) but the husb agreed and we took off to Target.

Target had a small selection but none were rated high impact. I want cement around my chest. I want nothing moving. The husb suggest we head over to Sports Authority. They had some nice Champion ones there but they were $35. A PIECE!!! I just couldn't do it. Against all my good intentions, we went to Walmart - which I have a love/hate relationship with. I love the prices but hate the store, hate their business ethics, the way they treat their employees, etc. But what do I know? I am temping for Central New York's version of Enron - that story should probably be a blog entry.

Of course Walmart had a huge selection and lots of high impact ones. I bought four for $13.97 each.

The weirdest thing that happened was at Target. On our way out of the store, we were walking behind this woman. We followed her right to the exit door. She walked right up to the door and when it didn't open automatically, she stopped. The automatic door was to the left of us, separated with a handrail. She stopped, looked to to the left at the automatic door, turned around, stepped around us (we were 2 feet behind her), walked around the handrail and went out the automatic door. WTF?? Between backtracking, avoiding us and walking around the handrail, she probably walked an extra 15 feet to get to the automatic door. Can we not open doors anymore?

Friday, January 19, 2007

The week in lunches

Good lunches this week. Only problem was I don't remember what the soup was on Monday :-/
My little panda bear sauce container has lost an eye.
This soup, I remember! It was red lentil, carrot and coconut milk soup - absolutely delish! Also included are pierogies, my newest craving, thanks to Jen....
I found some little mini flat bread rollup in the store. I filled one with hummus, lettuce and carrots. Yummy.
Tofurkey bratwurst over sauerkraut with some mustard. This was a great lunch!
Pierogies make a return appearance. In the interest of full disclosure - I stuffed 3 more in the bento after taking the picture.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

The Bro

We decided, after much research, that a typical greyhound coat wouldn't work for Cosmo to run in. He needed something warm, but lighter, wouldn't create static, and would be non confining. The 'bro' fit the bill to a 'T'.

The bro is the creation of Jen for her own dogs. It is perfect when something is needed, but not a lot. Cosmo runs in his bro and it works perfect.

I tried to take a few pictures of him when we were getting ready to run on Saturday. All the pictures are crappy because he would get 2 feet away from me. He was afraid I was going to leave him!

I should fix the velcro but I probably won't. It's not as if the coat is falling off of him. When we run at the park, Cosmo gets lots of admiring glances and comments from other runners and walkers.

Wednesday Run

I hurried home today, grabbed Cosmo and headed out into 20 degree weather for a proposed 3 mile run before dark. Yep, you read that right, 20 degrees. It was cold. I wore a longsleeved underarmor type shirt with a longsleeved tshirt over it and a cotton hoodie jacket, gloves, ear warmer band and pants. Cosmo wore his bro. I debated whether to take him or not but I knew if I left him, he would be hysterical. So I made a judgment call. Now I am making another one - we won't run outside under 25 degrees.

It was too COLD. I think I fared worse than Mo, he seemed to tool right along, having a great old time, happy to be out, cutting a dashing figure in his bro. I was pretty warm with the exception of my face. But I felt slow and sluggish because of the cold. I think it will have to be the treadmill for me in these temps. We planned on 3 but did 2.4. That was enough.

Monday, January 15, 2007

What we are up against.....

The top picture is the elevation map for the Tipp Hill Run (not all of it, just the hill portion). The bottom is the elevation for our Monday Hill run. We have our work cut out for us. I do not live in a flat area, there are plenty of rises but somehow, we just don't have hills around here. I hope we can get out and run the race course the second week of February. The good news is the the hills we have been running are getting easier. Next week we will run the second hill in the bottom little elevation map twice for a total of 4 hills.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Chomp, gulp, burp

The sound of me eating the words below. Bridget decided to run, came by, picked me and Cosmo up. We headed out to the park where she proceeded to run faster for a longer distance than me. She keeps telling me if she ends up in the hospital sick or dead, it will all be my fault. But it was a good run, Cosmo and I did 4.5 miles with Shannon...Bridget, of course, took off away from us and ran more. I am determined to maintain my run schedule this week. Hills Monday, 3 miles Wednesday, 2 miles Friday, and 4.75 on Saturday.

I called it.

Previous post 7:46 am.

Bridget's call? 8:00 am.

In her defense (not that she needs any...) she does sound congested so it is probably best for her not to run outside in the rain. Also, if I make fun and hassle her too much about her not running outside, the next time we run together, she will pace me real fast and my heart will swell up and explode from the effort of trying to keep up with her........

Saturday run or How is Bridget going to try to back out of this.....

My car has been requisitioned by the son so I have no way to get myself and Cosmo to the run. Bridget (who lives 2 miles from me) has offered to pick us up on her way there.

Everything cool, right?

I run, rain or shine (unless it is lightning or a torrential global warming downpour, or unless I just can't be bothered. Like this week. When I ran zippo. Yeah, payback time is today. I gotta get my act in gear because I cannot go on just running 4 miles once a week on Saturdays! That is no way to get race times down!).

Bridget doesn't like to run in anything but the most pristine weather (don't roll your eyes - you know you do!)

It is gray, damp, cold and rainy outside this morning.

She is not going to want to run.

I should turn my phone off so she can't call to cancel. Mwwwwwahahahaha.......

Thursday, January 11, 2007

So, I had some good lunches this week but things weren't all light and fluffy around here. I was supposed to run Monday and Wednesday and didn't run either day. Not a step. Monday was awful weather - stormy, snowy. Wednesday - no excuse, I just didn't run. The days just seem to get away from me.

The week's lunches in review

My favorite lunches from this week:

Amazing rice maker rice, topped with seaweed gomasio, applesauce, chocolate mini cupcakes with baby carrots and cuke slices and a mixture of craisins, nuts, chocolate bunny grahams and lorna doones as a snack mixture.

Thursday's lunch. Brown rice with some of Bridget's delicious moussaka, applesauce, the cupcakes and veggies (I didn't eat them from the previous day!) and some lorna doones and chocolate graham bunnies.

Friday's lunch. My yet again attempt ,at portion control in a traditional bento. We shall see if I resist the temptation to throw together a snack container :-) Peanut butter and raspberry jam on whole wheat bread, mini carrots, some honey belle orange slices (oranges courtesy of my neighbor) and some cookies.

All packed in my Femmio Valentino bento. What/who is Femmio Valentino? Who knows but I like this bento :-)

Sunday, January 07, 2007

The final run

Saturday, Jen came into town and joined the little running group. I am still recovering (and hoping for no set-back or recurrence) and Jen is a fairly new runner so we took it easy. Most the group ran 4.5 but we set out to do 3, then upped it to 3.5, then added on a quarter for 3.75. It was slow, but it was supposed to be :-). Jen brought her dog Cliff and he did really, really well. At a few points, he and Cosmo were shoulder-to-shoulder, running (or rather walking briskly) right together. So cute.

I did okay but really started to feel the distance at about 3 miles. Just tired and I probably would have walked if Jen hadn't been with me. She did really, really well. I think she is in perfect positioning for her first race next month. She already has the distance down.

This week the plan is:

Monday - the hills....3.2 miles
Tuesday - cycle
Wednesday - 3 miles
Thursday - cycle
Friday - 2 miles
Saturday - 4 to 4.5 miles
Sunday, blessed Sunday - OFF!

My plan is to add that Friday 2 mile run to get used to a 4th day running and to gradually up it to 3 or more when I feel good.

The Goldfish Bento

In response to some inquiries, you can purchase the fish bento at the ebay store, Japan Souvenir. Shipping can be kind of expensive, but Bridg and I combined our order so that helped us a little bit. This ebay store has some just-to-die-for bentos. It doesn't look as though currently they have any of the double fish bentos but there are about half a dozen listed that I am coveting :-)

Friday, January 05, 2007

Back to running

I have been sick ever since Christmas - head cold, sinus infection, cough, poor me, so no running. This week I set into recovery mode and started feeling good. Mo and I headed out Wednesday after work for an experimental, let's-see-if-I-can-do-this-without-hacking-up-a-lung run. We did the little 2.11 route (I know this exactly because of - great site!) and while it wasn't easy, it wasn't grueling. I just felt tired and heavy but we perserved and plodded along and Cosmo was one happy, happy boy. I didn't time myself because I didn't want to get depressed at my 'I should just walk it' speed.

Today, after bopping home, I laced up the sneaks and we went out again. We did the same route, it felt pretty good. I didn't push too hard and we ended up doing 10:58 m/m. :-)

Tomorrow is the slow distance run at the park with my buds. Jen will be joining us so that should be lots of fun.

This week's lunches

Yeah, yeah, I know....who wants to see or cares about what I eat. But too bad. It's my blog and I am going to continue to post them. I figure it will force me to continue making them and they will have to be half decently healthy. Even I would be embarassed to post a picture of a lunch that consists of dry Cap'n Crunch cereal, gummi bears and stale popcorn. work or bento on Monday (thank goodness this week seemed shorter than the last eternal week!). Tuesday, I forgot the camera. But here is Wednesday's lunch:
Applesauce, basmati rice, caribbean pepper pot stew and chocolate bunny grahams with almonds, pecans and walnuts. Yummy!

Veggie chic'n nuggets, a cut-to-fit orange glazed scone, mixture of nuts, craisins and mini chocolate chips and cinnamon sprinkled applesauce.

Both Wednesday and Thursday was a shitload of food. I kid you not. I could barely eat dinner. So Friday, I decided to exercise a little portion control. I took my lunch in the bento fishes.

Peanut butter and raspberry jam on whole wheat bread (cut to fit), chocolate bunny grahams and orange and grapefruit sections. A decent amount of food not nearly approaching the embarassment of Mr. Bento riches. It should have been enough, right? Well, at the last minute, I lost my nerve, I panicked, I caved. I fixed a little supplemental snack box of Lorna Doones, nuts, craisins and chocolate chips.
The fish bento is really, really, to die for cute.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007


I made Caribbean Pepper Pot for dinner tonight - actually, I made it last night and plugged in the crock pot (a magnificent invention!). It was SO good, seriously spicy, coconut milk smooth good. The recipe is from 125 Best Vegetarian Slow Cooker Recipes, that I received from my in-laws for Christmas. It looked so pretty, I just had to take some pictures :-) I topped each bowl with rice and cilantro. It was served with a romaine lettuce salad, with carrots, garbanzo beans, red pepper and artichokes.

With Best Intentions

A friend gave me an assortment of Lovely Liz's cookies for Christmas. They come two to a package. Today I took one package of two cookies into work. I figured I would break them up, stick them in my desk, and munch on them for the next four days as a treat. I don't know what happened but both cookies were gone by 11 am. Each cookie is two servings at 210 calories. I ate 840 calories of cookie before 11 am. I was sick. My lunch, which, of course, I wasn't able to eat, included rice, applesauce, brussel sprouts, nuts and chocolate bunnies. I forgot the camera so no pic which is somehow appropriate since it didn't get eaten.

Tomorrow, for the first time since I got sick a week ago, I am going to run.

Monday, January 01, 2007


Eating is one of the most intimate, personal things we do every day. We are actually taking a product, an item into our body - what can be more personal than that? Every day I sit in the break room at lunch and I eat with people. They are usually eating the ubiquitous Healthy Choice frozen food, or Hot Pockets, or frozen pizza. I sit there like a dork with my little Mr. Bento (or other bento box) eating a lunch that I prepared at home. I know that preparing food is a pain and time consuming. It is easier to just grab something out of the freezer and stick it in the microwave but we are only cheating ourselves when we do that. Food and the pleasure of eating is a gift we have been given and I never want to take that for granted or want to brush it aside because I am too busy. Eating is an affirmation of life and love. I know that every afternoon, my husband sits down, opens up his lunch and eats a meal planned, prepared and packed by me. Meals and food should be an event, something looked forward to and appreciated.

The best place to buy Mr. Bento - $41.85 with free shipping. Not cheap but if you pay $5/day or more for lunch....well, you can see how it will pay for itself within months. Hey, we all know that a trip a day to the vending machine really adds up in dollars and pounds. There are also much cheaper alternatives than Mr. Bento. One is the Fit & Fresh lunch pack which runs about $6-7 or the Fit & Fresh Soup and Salad.
We are what we eat :-)

2007 Resolutions

1) Lose weight - hey, what would a list of New Year's resolutions be without that old standby?

2) Increase run lengths to an easy 6-8 miles at a consistent sub 11 m/m.

3) Pay an extra 10,000 towards our mortgage principal in 2007.

That is the biggie - the resolution that is REALLY gonna take some work. Our old house had 12 years left on a fifteen year refinance and we now have a 30 year loan. It is disheartening but we do love the new house. Just the idea of no repairs and little maintenance (at least for a few years) it was the right decision for us but that 30 years is hanging over our head. So, the numbers have been crunched and the challenge extra $833 per month needs to appear. Or rather $733 because unbeknownst to me, the husb has already been paying an extra $100. All this on top of two kids in college. Oh vey. I apologize in advance to my friends because they are going to be hearing, "Sorry, I can't do buy go there....." an awful lot. Good thing they are a cheap, frugal lot also :-)