Monday, December 31, 2007

Free Rice Makes My Day

I just came across a new website that I LOVE. I mean really love. It is you play a game testing your vocabulary and when you get words right you earn rice for 3rd world countries. I'm such a skeptic. I seems too good to be true. I had to check Snopes to make sure it was real. But it is. The rice is paid for by the advertisers at the bottom of your screen, which strangely enough keep catching my attention as I'm trying to figure out words that I've never seen before.
I think what I like best about this site is that I can totally indulge in a computer game and yet not feel too guilty. After all I'm learning vocabulary and helping feed the poor. What more could you ask for? Now go try it. Just don't blame me if you get addicted!

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas! I hope that your holiday is filled with peace, joy and giving. And I hope that you and your family are safe and healthy.
If it is not -- go for a run, I'm sure you'll feel better when you get back! Your problems may still be the same, but at least you'll have a new perspective on things. Hmmm, I think I may go take my own advice.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Running for Real

I was so happy to run into Annnnn and Kate on Monument Avenue after my 90 minute bike at Maramarc. They were running the same distance I was, 6 miles, only they were 3 miles into the run.
I didn't think twice about running across the street to meet them. I'd only run one mile and I was already tired of the same Monument Avenue scenery. But, probably I should have thought twice, because they were running it all. Maybe slow, but running it ALL. I always run and then walk and then run and then...well you know.
Anyway, I managed to stay with them most of the time, until they sprinted the last few blocks back to Starbucks. After a big glass of water I continued my run alone and lonely. But, I had run with them for basically 30 minutes. That is really good news for me. Since I didn't know I all I need is someone to help me run like that 3 times a week.

I should also note that we stood up in cycling class for the first time today. I thought we weren't going to do that until January! Well, it was hard, but felt good. I miss my old Cannondale hoods to hang onto. The new aero bars are much lower and it's especially noticeable when we are standing in the sadle, but maybe something I'll get used to. The good news is that so far, I can do it.
I still remember so well, last January when I wanted to go home and cry after I couldn't do the workout we were supposed to. Well, we are not in January yet, so I may get that feeling again, but I'll work through it if I do. And, it'll make me stronger.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Christmas Light Run

Last night, I really missed my family. It was super cold and so windy that I was lucky I didn't get blown away on my way to my car after work. I had been planning on doing the Christmas Light Run with the TRIgirls, but it just felt so wrong to work all day Sunday and then to not even come home to see my family, but to go to a workout instead. I know I sound like I'm whining, but when you have a 3-year-old screaming, "Please Mama don't go to work!" it makes it hard. Redfish always confuses where I go when I leave him anyway. If I'm dressed in spandex he says "Don't go to work!" If I'm dressed in slacks and a blouse, he says, "Don't go workout!" I'm sure he's wondering why I'm always laughing at him.
Anyway, Mr. Preschool called me at work to see if I'd finally made up my mind. After hearing my predicament, super cool Mr. Preschool offered to meet us at Starbucks for the 40 minutes I had between work and the Christmas Light Run. I was slightly worried that leaving the kids again would be more heartbreak then the joy of getting to see them for few minutes but Mr. Preschool had prepared them and made them promise not to cry when I left.
I'd been wanting to go on this run since last year, when I kept hearing how fun it was. Actually, I think the main thing that folks talked about after the run last year was the Glogg that TRIgirl 40 brought. Based on its rave reviews, I figured it would make the run worth it and I was right. Between the great company on the run (Annnnn, T, Margo, Cathy) and the Glogg, I was soooo happy I went, even if we did cut the route a bit short so we didn't actually have to run through Oregon Hill. Or more importantly miss the Glogg because we were so slow.
So, in case you want to try it at home, here are the ingredients for the Glogg. It is sort of like a mulled wine with a kick.
It is red wine (Pinot Grigio)
Ground ginger
Whole Almonds
Raisins and well, maybe something else...heated on the stove until it is warm and some of the alcohol has dissipated. I'll update with the real recipe when I get it. And, you can be sure that I will be at the Xmas Light Run next year, even if I have to bring my own Glogg! The kids were fast asleep when I got home and I don't think they missed me as much as I thought they would. Tonight, I'll be gone to another workout when they go to bed -- but tomorrow, I get to stay home!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

TRIgirl Training Starts a New Blog

Grandison, Cyndi and I just started a TRIgirl Training blog. Check it out!

Thursday, December 06, 2007

imATHLETE Wants You!

A blogging buddy of mine, Jeff Matlow, (who also happens to be one of my favorite writers) just started a new website called imATHLETE. imATHLETE is a resource for athletes (especially triathletes) that will act as a sort of wikipedia of sorts, giving all sorts of information about the sport, including race reports, race listings, club listings, coaches and more.
This is where YOU come in! Jeff is looking for folks to contribute to the website. Got a race report you want to post? Photos of a race? Or do you know of an event that is not yet listed? All you do is create a login and ad the info to the site. You'll be helping other triathletes if you do and you might even learn something while you are there.
imATHLETE is still in its Beta stage. You are one of the first ones to know about it. Go ahead, make a contribution to the site, and check it out....then, pass the word along. Oh, and while you are there -- you can vote for me (and my blog)!

Teachers Ask for What They Want -- And Get It!

This is a post from my other blog, The Near West End News. I'm just repeating it hear, because, well, Mr. Preschool is a teacher, and I think it is the best idea I've heard in a long, long time....
I can’t emphasize enough how important schools are to both our community and our future. One Richmond City school teacher found out about a great online program, that was able to help her make a even bigger difference in her students’ lives. Cheryl Thompson, a teacher at Blackwell Elementary, submitted a short essay to DonorsChoose explaining that she had an idea to use a digital voice recorder to record some of the classrooms activities and send them home with the kids. It was a way to involve parents, but also a way to reach out to the non-verbal children who couldn’t communicate with their parents about what was going on in the classroom. Donorschoose matches up everyday folks like you and me with folks like teachers who have a need but not necessarily the resources to fulfill it. It makes philanthropy easy for a regular Joe, and there is a personal element to it because the donor gets to pick the recipient and the project that he wants to support.
Gov. Timothy M. Kaine plans to announce this morning at Blackwell that Virginia teachers are now eligible to post their projects on the site.
“You just put your hopes and dreams out there, your visions, and somebody out there believes in you,” said Thompson, who is in her fourth year teaching early childhood special education in the city schools. “I love that idea. You don’t have to write a big, long grant.”

Sunday, December 02, 2007

The 2008 Triathlon Season Begins!

Yesterday, we started our winter training. I am so happy to be back, it was tough seeing how out of shape I've become in the past 2 months, but great to realize it doesn't have to stay like that.
This has been a really tough Autumn for me. It seems like one malady after another has kept me from getting back into the swing of things. Yesterday, I was still fighting a terrible cough but after taking some asthma medicine from my inhaler, I was able to continue the workout. The truth is that yesterday is the best I've felt in a long time. I slept well. My back didn't ache. I was happier and more upbeat than I've been in a while. My cough even seems to have improved, even if it almost brought me to my knees yesterday during my "run." Yes, run is in quotes because it was more like a walk, run, stagger, stagger, walk. I'd run, feel that the heavy breathing was just too much, because of all the congestion. Then walk. When I walked is when I uncontrollably started coughing...which the running seemed to help, so I'd run to stop coughing and get the idea.
It was really wonderful to see all of the "baby pink" TRIgirls moving on to be the experts. The pros that will be able to answer all sorts of questions for the next baby pinks. It was wonderful to see everyone again, but especially to be inspired by the baby pinks taking on full and half Ironmans in the coming season.
As for me, I'm focusing more on the season ahead. Trying to figure out what races will complete my season.
So far, I've committed to
The Great Cheapeake Bay Swim 4.4. Miler on June 8th
I Love the Tavern Sprint Triathlon on June 29
Sandman Triathlon on Sept. 14th
The Richmond Marathon on November 15
I'm thinking about
The Williamsburg Patriot Half on Sept. 6th (or possibly the International)
Still have to sort things out. I really want to do one half this season and one Olympic or International distance race. That Charlottesville one sounds fun but hilly and hot!