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

Saturday, March 31, 2007

Note to self

Self.......always make sure to plastic baggie the tubes of raw meat when defrosting them in the fridge. I woke up this morning and defrosted blood had dripped and coagulated all on my refridgerator shelf and down the side. It got all over the jar of my beloved applesauce :-( I had to throw that out because, man, I just couldn't deal with that. Hmmmmmm......I can hear all of you out there now. 'Raw meat? Isn't she a..... I mean, what is raw meat doing in her fridge?"

Well, the raw meat is for the dogs. After several years of playing around with the idea, always putting it aside because of laziness and concerns of expense, my dogs are now on a raw diet. I don't know if it will do any good but it can't hurt and frankly, I am desperate. I have lost two terriers before the age of 10 who should have lived easily into their mid/late teens. Bridg has lost two to bone cancer before the age of ten who should have had many, many more years. Something is wrong here. These were all dogs that got the best care and no expense spared. I could list numerous other dogs I know of, lost way too early. So, a raw diet it is for my two.

Against the advice of my vet, I might add. I talked to her about it and she was basically in sync with the idea. Over the years I have known her, I have seen her opinions grow and evolve as she questions the traditional ways of vaccinations and food. It is a slow process, though. Her strong suggestion, however, was to use a prepared, commercial raw diet. You know, so my dogs nutrition will be complete. When she told me this, I sat there, nodding my head, agreeing, because, well, you know, it sounded reasonable to me at the time.

When I got home, however, after thinking about it, well, I got a little offended. There is a lot of reputable, scientifically valid information out there about the nutritional needs of dogs. Is the veterinarian society telling all of us that we aren't smart enough, aren't capable enough to research and learn and feed our dogs properly? Hey, I somehow, without a degree in nutrition, managed to feed and raise 3 healthy kids. They are active, smart and not a one has fallen into that common American child hellhole of obesity. I think I can feed my dogs and feed them well. And if I screw something up? What the hell can happen? Their life is shortened? Got news for the naysayers and the vets and their like. They ain't living a hell of a long time on that grain filled, preservative-filled, extruded pebble crap we have been pouring out of bags. Can we say rat poison, tainted wheat gluten and melamine? Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know everyone has got a story about dogs that have lived forever on Ol' Roy and Alpo. And I know 90 yr olds that drink and smoke every day and never exercised. They are freak abberations, people. They are the outliers on the bell curve. The odds of us and our dogs living that identical lifestyle and being on the same part of the bell curve as them aren't great.

So, Cosmo, Mally and I are now one week into this little jaunt. I secured 30 lbs of turkey necks and 40 lbs of chicken backs - all frozen - from a wholesale distributor. I turned my kitchen into a slaughter house, while I defrosted and pried it all apart to bag up individual meals (all the while praying to the vegan gods and the souls of the poor chickens and turkeys for forgiveness). It was nasty and I could gag right now thinking about it. The dogs are loving their food. They are all up in my business, come dinner time, prancing, spinning, jumping on me. No having to call them to their dishes. They are certainly enjoying this. I am still working out details and amounts. I have done the research and joined the groups. There is a lot of conflicting information out there so I am finding out what works best for the my guys. Right now their meals are:

Morning: 1/2 cup of veggie mix (pulverized veggies with raw eggs and shells, small amounts of organs and yogurt) with 1/4 lb raw turkey or ground beef. Their supplements are flax oil, glucosamine, alfalfa, kelp, acidopholus (sp?) and the previcox for Mally. I would love to get Mally off the previcox but right now he really needs it to cope with chronic pain from old injuries. I think I will also have to up Cosmo's food amount due to his level of physical activity.

Evening: 1.5- 2 lbs turkey necks. I will transition the chicken backs in soon. They are higher in fat and with skins so I wanted to use the turkey necks to acclimatize the boys first.

So, that is it for now. I don't know how the diet will change and evolve. I have been reading how some don't think ANY supplements or veggies are necessary - just raw meat, organs and bones. I am not quite ready for that. I like feeding my guys the veggies and supplements.

Friday, March 30, 2007


Yea! Made it through another week. Our weather has been gradually improving. For the first time in 2007, Mally was able to get out and do what he likes to do most - lounge in the sun and watch the world go by :-)

Monday, March 26, 2007

Thank you, everyone for all your comforting words, prayers and thoughts. We will miss Angy very much. It is hard to believe that much personality, spunk and just plain contrariness can be gone. He definitely was larger than life. As Bridg says, he had the heart of a lion and the personality to match.

We have pretty much been doing nothing but sitting around moping, feeling pitiful and sorry for ourselves. We did have our inaugural vegan dinner and you can read about it in Bazu's blog or Bridget's blog and they both posted lots of pictures. I must say that Bazu's food photos are absolutely gorgeous.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Our poor, poor, dearly loved boy......

Friday, March 16, 2007

No title. Couldn't even bother to think up one. Today:

1) I visited a young woman in the hospital who recently had surgery. She is in her late 20's with a husband and a 2 year old baby. After her surgery, she had a stroke. Her speech is slurred, she is unable to move her left arm and she has double vision in her right eye. There is considerable nerve damage done to the muscles on the right side of her body and face. She will be unable to drive for 6-8 months and will have to undergo intensive physical therapy.
2) The husb was notified by the SOA, that after over 10 years of effort, his final professional development packet was lacking. The hazing continues.
3) Angus is not feeling well. Things are going in and things are coming as they should (dog people and parents know what I mean) and there are no immediate, visible symptoms I can point to, but the boy is feeling hinky.
4) Mother Nature teased us a bit but winter is now back in full force. It will never be warm again.

I would like to say that some mornings it doesn't pay to get out of bed but my #1 item above is enough to remind me that any morning out of bed is a good one. I just have to work at believing it. Ah well.............

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Wednesday Run

Cosmo and I took off right after work for our little midweek jaunt. The distance was 2.81 (yes, that is exact - you can thank and our time was 31.44. Now, we had a pee stop that lasted for a minute (I timed it - the boy really had to go) and a poop break that I didn't time. We did 11:18 m/m *actual time* but if I take a conservative 1:30 off for the pee/poop stop, we clock in at a more respectable 10:46 m/m. It wasn't easy - the last .2 mile, I was doing that grunting exhale thing, *huunh* *huunh*.

Edited to add: I considered running a little farther, but part of the reason we only did 2.81 is because I don't think I had the endurance to continue at that pace :-)

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Tipp Hill Pictures

Some of my pics are duplicates of Bridget's so I won't post them.
Here is Kris looking good, I think these first ones are at the beginning of the race.
Teresa and Sue:

Yours truly:
Is it any wonder she is faster than I am? No smiling, no waving. None of that nonsense like the rest of us. Just wiping snot and running! Bridget (looking like what did Jen say? A garlic covered fettucine noodle running like a gazelle?)
One mile left at the top of Coleridge hill. Sherri perfectly placed herself to get us all coming up the hill. I was pretty miserable but she gave me warning so I put my head up and smiled for the camera. Although that smile looks like Jack Nicholson as The Joker.....Then I put it back down and went back to being miserable. You can see the blind runner behind me with her cane. So maybe I did just barely beat her - she still passed me several times!
Sue and Teresa heading up the hill. Oh yeah, little ponytailed girl. Look on in amazement!
Teresa and Sue finishing. Hmmmmm, they look in pretty good shape. I think this photo gives credence to my theory that we can run faster. I now have the evidence, Sue! LOL
Me bringing it home. You can see Wendy behind me in the yellow jacket and hat.
Kris in the white shirt and red hat. I passed her with about a mile and a half to go and she said her stomach was acting up, but she did finish strong. Great job! Oh and look at the blind runner. Ok, so I guess I did officially beat her (since Kris came in a little behind me) but damn, look at her go! She was doing a walk/run pattern and I swear, I came to dread hearing her cane on the pavement coming up behind me. "Damn, she is going to pass me again!" The man running by her was with her the whole way, most of the time they were running with their arms touching. What an amazing accomplishment and for all my kvetching, it was great to observe them most of the race.
Here is Shannon finishing. I trained and it was hard. She took two weeks off from running and went to Cancun and finished. Sheesh.......I am embarassed for myself LOL
The support crew: Michael Corleone.....oops, I really mean my husband, Andrew. Sherri, photographer extraordinaire - all the race photos are by her. Wendy and Deb. People might think it is a little thing or not important but I cannot emphasize enough how encouraging and motivating it is to turn a corner and see a friendly face there. These guys all probably covered as much ground as we did because it seemed like they were everywhere. Thanks guys! All of you are the greatest.
And one last group shot. Take a good look because I think from here on out Bill is going to be ostracized from our group. 8:30 m/m, indeed. Humpf.......

Monday, March 12, 2007

Enough is enough

Tonight, Cosmo and I met up with SW, SH and Sue to run the Y hills. The concession (because Sue and I raced Saturday and SW and SH haven't been running much) for us was to only do 3 loops instead of 4. I also told them that we should maybe focus on gradually building some speed. In other words, *cue title music* that enough was enough (although not in those exact words).

I mean, c'mon! I have been running 4 years and I just did a 4 mile race at a 12:15 pace. I WAS PASSED BY A FOUR YEAR OLD AND A BLIND RUNNER WITH A CANE. Yeah, I know, all the good stuff - it was a hard course, lots of hills, at least I am out there doing it, blah blah blah. But the truth is I think that I am comfortable. And especially, there is no reason for these 3 women to be running at this level - all three are better, natural runners than I am. We can't advance, improve and learn while nicely ensconced in our little comfort zones. So the three of them, when I informed them that increasing our pace was going to be a goal, well, they didn't actually kvetch, but there was some muttering - I know I heard muttering! AND THEN THEY WENT OUT THERE AND DID IT. These women have heart :-)

My best 5k time was 31:59, a 10:20 m/m. My son, who while in training for his first and second degree black belt had to consistently run 3 sub 8 m/m (he averaged in the 7:15-7:20 range) likes to tap my forehead and tell me my speed is up there. So my 2007 goal is that I am going to do my damnedest to break my PR. Goals we set are goals we get. Right?

Today we ran 2.61 miles in 29:32 for an 11:19 m/m. Next Monday we shall try to take 15 seconds off of that. 5 seconds a loop faster. An 11:13 m/m. I think I/we can do that.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Slow and steady....

does not win races. But I bet all of you already knew that. What slow and steady will get you is through a bear of a race course without walking. This race's goals:
1) not to walk.
2) my hoped for goal: 48 minutes - did not make this goal.
3) my super secret, God loves me, and all the stars are properly aligned goal - 44 minutes. Didn't make goal 2 so I sure didn't make this one.

My time was net time 48:50-something, my gun time about minute slower. 12:15 m/m. *shrugs*

The weather was perfect running weather for me. It was about 40, drizzly. I loved it. It couldn't have been better if I ordered it. I dressed perfectly - a long sleeved t-shirt and pants. I was cold at the start but warmed up nicely. My plan was to run conservatively, not get caught up in the race atmosphere and adrenaline and watch my pace. I said 'nice seeing you' to Bridget at the quarter mile mark when she went whizzing by me and settled in to run my race alone. And I was pretty lonely. Running is a solitary endeavor. Even in a group, it is solitary in that your goals and your success is determined only by your feet pounding the ground, your lungs and heart moving oxygen to protesting muscles. I have been running in a group most of the time lately though, that I missed the support and the comradery I get from my friends. I also missed Cosmo. I did not like running without him.

I ran with the same small crowd pretty much the whole way. At my pace, there were lots of people walking. I passed a couple of girls on the first hill, turning off by Colemans. They were already struggling and complaining, asking if this was the hill they heard of. 'Nuh-uh, ladies. Not even close', I told them. I shouldn't have because their faces just fell. The pattern that most people seemed to adopt was to run very fast for half a block, pass me and then walk. I would trudge along, pass them and then the pattern would repeat. I got kind of sick of these people sprinting pass me. One time, at about 2.5 miles, I came up behind a guy who was walking, he was obviously struggling. He turned around, saw me and took off running. I hate to ascribe motives to strangers and I am willing to entertain the thought that I might be a little sensitive but I swear, if that guy had a thought balloon, it would have said, "oh man, I can't let this chick pass me'. I came up behind him again on the last long hill. He was walking. I was running. This time I passed him and didn't see him again :-)

The street side crowd wasn't anything like last year but there were still some hardy souls out there. There were a couple of drum bands on various street corners. Let me just say, I appreciated their presence and their effort but those kids had no rhythm. I don't know what they were drumming but it did nothing to help my cadence :-) There was a great little crowd of kids almost at the top of the main hill. They were hollering encouragement, banging pots and generally making lots of noise and having a great time. They got a thumbs up from me - I appreciated their encouragement.

I made arrangements with my friend Wendy to wait at the corner of Lowell and Coleridge for me. She ran this race last year but this year she is nursing some bad knees. Of course, she said last year's was the hardest race she ever did and would never run it again but I think I might have been able to talk her into it if she was healthy :-) I saw Kris at the bottom of Lowell (the start of the long hill) and I thought we could do the last stretch together but her stomach was bothering her, so I continued alone. All I could think all the way up Lowell was that Wendy would be at the corner and would take me up the Coleridge hill. I clutched at that thought like a baby with a pacifier. I get to the corner and no one. She wasn't at the corner but actually a little ways up the hill with my husband and another friend, Deb. I wasn't expecting Deb so it was great to see her and pondering her gorgeous red hair distracted me for a moment. I was going pretty slow at this point (but still running, thank you very much) but Wendy jogged along with me, chatting, filling me in on who had already passed and how they were doing. I couldn't respond but I did hang on every word out of her mouth. She ran a little ways past the top of the hill and then left me saying she would see me at the finish line.

With about a mile left, I had one more hill to go. It wasn't bad - I had no problem getting up it. The last stretch, I could see Sue and Theresa in front of me about 50 feet. I tried to catch them because I thought it would be neat to finish together but I just didn't have enough road or breath left to do it. I finished about 20 seconds behind them.

My game plan was to be conservative so I could make my main goal of not walking. Usually, I like to finish a race exhausted and spent. I like knowing I left everything I could on that course and I have nothing left to give. Unfortunately, my conservative plan led me to run a little too conservative in the first half of the race. Both Jen and Bridget were sore and tired this afternoon and Sue is complaining of soreness on her blog. I feel like I could go out tomorrow and run the same course, which means I didn't run hard enough :-( Oh, well, live and learn. It was more important to me to run the whole course than to run faster and maybe have to walk. Next year is another chance.

Pictures will be posted tomorrow.

My heart is breaking

He thinks he is going.

He wants to run so badly.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Saturday thoughts

The good thing is we have run the course, so I know I can do it. The bad thing is we have run the course, so I know it is going to hurt. No two ways around it, for a runner like me (and I use the term runner very loosely), Saturday is going to hurt. 4 miles of a world of pain. You know a race course is a bitch when you are dreading the downhills almost as much as the uphills. I have no hopes or dreams for my race time beyond anything under a 12 m/m will be miraculous.

I hopped on a treadmill today after my cycle class and within 2/10 of a mile, the right knee started twinging again. It hasn't been bothering me at all but 3 minutes on that treadmill and it was there. I wonder what it is about running on a treadmill that alters your gait and why that is affecting my knee. Anyways, I did two miles, sweating like a pig, running about 11 m/m average. I would have quit at half a mile but Mike, a guy who takes my cycle class with his fiancee was running alongside of me so we kept each other going. I know some people do great with it, but I hate the treadmill.

Monday, March 05, 2007


Left! I meant left!!!!! Left, left, left!!!


My mileage figures so far:

18.97173 mpg
21.11653 mpg
19.41233 mpg
23.12228 mpg

The last tank was figured on 149 miles of complete highway driving.

My old Toyota Sienna minivan with a v-6 engine got better mileage than this v-4. I think I might have to hand in my environmental, liberal, right-wing leaning, vegan membership card
And what is worse is in spite of the mileage, I do so love my Element. I shouldn't love a car - it is an inanimate object, a tool to use to further an end. But I do love it. Man, loads of white middle class guilt here..........

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Lunch review

I lost two days of pictures. Don't know what happened to them.
Monday: grapefruit sections, squash, tofurkey beer brat with saukerkraut and teddy grahams with frosted mini wheats. The organic kind. They are vegan :-)
Tuesday was tandoori rice (from a package), spinach dal (from a package), a few margarita cupcakes made from Vegan Cupcakes take Over the World and teddy grahams with cashews.
Wednesday was rice with furikake, triscuits with cashews, frosted mini wheats, and Nate's vegan meatballs with sauce and rice parm. The smidget contains peanut butter.
I know I did eat the other two days but I must have forgotten to take pictures. It was a freezer/desperation week for lunches. I did go shopping last night (laid in a real big supply of applesauce. Man, I missed it this past week) so hopefully lunches will improve next week.

How does he know?

We are running this afternoon at 1:30. I am in my pajamas, cleaning house. No running clothes, no running sneakers, nothing. Somehow, Cosmo knows. He is on hyper alert. Any movement I make, he springs into action. If I get out of his sight? Then there is panic. I am in the bathroom. Does he think there is a magic second door and I am going to sneak out and run without him? Make sure your sound is on for the full effect. The voice telling him 'quiet', is the husband's. You can tell how well our dogs are trained by Cosmo's complete and utter disregard! LOL

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Vegan Dinner!

Spice It Up Vegan Style!Wednesday, March 21 at Steve's Cantina and Grill401 Milton AvenueSyracuse, NY

Come enjoy an evening of delicious Mexican food hosted by the Syracuse Vegan Society in collaboration with Steve's Cantina and Grill

Beer and Margarita specials start at 6 pm. Dinner served promptly at 6:30.Dinner will consist of an appetizer of chips, salsa and guacamole; salad bar with Dave's signature lime/cilantro dressing.

Entree is a choice of black bean or grilled tofu enchilada with sides of black beans, yellow rice and grilled vegetables.Price is $13 and includes gratuity. An extra donation of $1 per person gives you a chance to win a free dinner for two, courtesy of Steve's Cantina and Grill. All proceeds from this drawing will go to PAR, People for Animal Rights of Central New York. Prepayment ensures your reservation. If you wish to include $1 extra in the check, that's fine, or you will have an opportunity to make a $1 donation at the dinner, if you wish.For more information, email