Yet another benefit of drinking – flower boxes!
Screw Hallmark – as far as I’m concerned, May 5th was my ideal Mother’s Day. No matter what happens next Sunday, I will cherish the day I had, from the scandalously late start to the fortified-with-an-afternoon-nap late ending – perfect! Let me be a little more specific…
Saturday night, I shot a SEEN gallery down at Prime 677. The occasion was a fundraiser for the Huntington’s Disease Society of America and it was a lovely event. The food was spectacular and the folks at Empire Wines rallied the troops to put on an extraordinary wine tasting. It’s been noted by some astute Times Union readers that whenever an event involves wine, I’m usually there. Guilty as charged.
I got home from the party working at about 10:30 only to find my little guy desperately upset that he had been denied a ‘s’more from the neighbor’s party, a situation I was able to correct with a soothing shower and some ice cream. Tucking him in at such a late hour gave me the first gift of Sunday – he slept until 10:00, which gave me an incredibly quiet morning. Soft music, strong coffee and the paper comprise my personal morning bliss trifecta. So far, so good.
After the boys departed at noon for their Dad’s, I got busy in the front yard with mulch and some annuals. The sun was glorious, birds were chirping and the simple joy of getting a little dirty made my heart sing. I had a mid afternoon visit from the person I most love spending time with and the day moved along at a pace that was completely enjoyable. I accomplished some other chores, including eating a fantastic lunch salad, and punctuated the afternoon with an indulgent nap on clean sheets. But, wait – there’s more.
Caesar salad with shaved Romano and grilled asparagus
As the day cooled down a bit, I tied on my running shoes and hit the streets for a 5-mile lap through the neighborhood. I had intended to go a bit further, but contented myself with not pushing myself too hard and tried to just enjoy myself. Done. A shower, a quick visit with the neighbors for a glass of wine and then home again for finale of the only reality show I would ever want to be on, The Amazing Race, and I was in bed by 10:15, thoroughly relaxed and satisfied with my day.
There weren’t any tulips or handmade crafts, but nonetheless it was a lovely day with a wonderful mix of boys, friends, productivity, relaxation and good food and wine. Mother’s Day 2013 is a done deal, as far as I am concerned. Any additional gifts are truly unnecessary, although I do have a fondness for the imperfectly made card along with a hankering for a French lilac bush. Just saying.
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Last Sunday I absolved myself for Saturday night’s indulgences by participating in the Hand in Hand Run/Walk down in the Hudson Valley. Let me be honest with you, I’ll pretty much take any opportunity to visit with friends in the New Paltz area to enjoy some “adults only” time, but the added bonus of a morning race across the Hudson River makes me feel like a winner every time. This day was no exception.
The race is a fundraiser for programs to support developmentally delayed and disabled children, a cause close to my heart. Although April has been a recovery sort of month for me in terms of running, I decided to go for the 5 mile run instead of the 5 K option, abiding by my motto of preferring to regret doing something rather than not doing something. It was a good choice despite the blustery, cold wind that accompanied the portions of the run that involved crossing the river. Twice.
The course was challenging, but scenic, and the sun was beautiful on the Hudson. I don’t know about you, but when I’m in close proximity to the majestic Hudson I can’t help but be stunned by how beautiful it truly is. Imagine being an early explorer and sailing along those waters, in the shadow of the Catskills? Impressive!
This race was an affirmation in every way for me. After running the Delmar Dash the previous week in a disappointing time, I felt much stronger on Sunday, despite the more challenging terrain of this course. Seems that partying with the girls, along with a heaping bowl or two of pasta, just might be the best race prep. I finished 5th in my age group (a small percentage of the participants) with a time of 47:20. Not too shabby.
I’m eyeing a couple of races for May and am particularly excited for SPAC’s Rock and Run on Sunday, May 19th. They’ve introduced a 10K option for this year and I’m sure the course will be beautiful. Sounds like more pasta (and another bottle of wine) will be in order. Who’s in?
No, not my commitment to an insane schedule – the Delmar Dash 5 miler. This was my first race of the year (!) and the longest run I’ve had in nearly 3 weeks. And that’s longest run out of 2. The weather on the quick drive over, was silly. What was sunny and blue in Albany, was cloudy and spitting mixed precipitation on the other side of the Normanskill. This is not just a figurative statement. I almost turned around to select some different gear in acknowledgement of the weird weather, but decided ,optimistically, that this too would pass. It did.
Parking was the usual challenge, but I’ve learned my way around a bit and did fine parking with a few minutes walk of the middle school. Check-in was smooth and the shirt is awesome, something I never say. The course is one of the sweetest courses I know and I did ok. Nothing record-breaking, but I was satisfied with my efforts. My body is still complaining a little, but I feel like we’ll declare a truce soon enough – and I have a massage Friday to look forward to. Looks like running season is starting…
Were you there today? What have you been up to?
Sadly enough, I did not run when I was in Europe. Nope (or should I say “nein?), not even once. I did get some quality exercise walking good distances nearly every day, but my greatest exercise may have come from pacing myself when it came to beer and wine consumption. I wrote about getting exercise while on the road here.
On the weeks when I work two double shifts, I struggle to get my miles in. In addition to being somewhat obsessive about exercise, I am also mistress of the rationalization so, I console myself on these alternating weeks with the fact that I get some physical activity running up and down the stairs at the Wine Bar. Guilt assuaged.
I had planned to take a run yesterday, but between a super late Friday night, an array of errands and a soccer game (we won), I just knew I didn’t have it in me. Sunday was essentially looking wide-open and I decided I’d experience that long run which had become almost mythical in my mind – my house to Delaware to Whitehall to New Scotland to Slingerlands and the bypass, to Kenwood and back to Delaware and then home. I finally had the time and today seemed the ideal day to give it a go.
After a relaxing morning, I put myself in the mindset that my run was a St. Patrick’s Day treat akin to soda bread and a pot of tea from Bewley’s. I particularly appreciated that any residual March 18 discomfort would be the result of muscle exertion rather than beer
over indulgence. My weather app kept promising clouds, but luckily they never materialized. I think the somewhat aggressive wind may have kept those moving right along in the blue sky.
What kept me moving over the 9.5+ miles? Good music, thoughts of my late Uncle John McMenamin, a man who loved a good brisk walk along the Irish Sea, and my sense that the sun was in complete approval of my efforts. I allowed myself to move at a pace that I could keep moving at and I am absolutely content with my outing. If Uncle John and I were able to sit down together with a couple of bowls of his wife Bridie’s creamy vegetable soup, I’d say today was just about an ideal St. Patrick’s Day. I hope yours was equally enjoyable.
I’m not the only one who uses my gloves to catch the drips from my nose during a cold run, am I? Don’t leave me hanging out here, runner friends! It’s not like I blow my nose with my favorite striped gloves, I save that for the hem of shirt, but in the winter when I run, so does my nose. C’est la vie.
Winter 2011/12 was most definitely the winter that wasn’t. I managed to continue running outdoors during those crazy mild months, but I wasn’t certain the story would remain the same during a more typical upstate New York winter. This year, the case has been proven – I am a four season runner and I wouldn’t want it any other way.
Running in the cold means slowing down, because of both the tightness of my muscles and the potential dangers of the terrain. There are also layers involved. Sometimes I feel as if I spend as much time suiting up, and eventually stripping down, as I do actually running. Four layers of UnderArmour certainly keeps a girl warm, but it also occasionally makes me feel as rotund as a Russian doll. This perception makes me want to run more miles –
and consume vodka and caviar.
Often my speed picks up towards the end of my run as the promise of a hot shower nears. That’s right, I said HOT! The bliss of finally peeling off my post-run damp second (and third and fourth) skin to step into a steamy hot shower makes all of my efforts a winning investment. The transition from legs burning, to calories burned, to near scalding shower water is one of my favorite sensations.
As the question of March entering as either a lamb or a lion is thrust at us all with today’s turn of the calendar, I can confidently say it doesn’t matter to me at all. Either way, I’ll be layering and lacing up and hitting the streets.
My goal for 2012 was to run one organized race or run per month and, if we take the number of races I ran and divide them by twelve, I accomplished my mission. As I removed my race numbers from my bulletin board, I arranged them, as any borderline obsessive would, in chronological order and noted a couple of things:
- I didn’t get a bib at last year’s (1/1/2012) Hangover Half/3.5, but I do remember running it.
- There wasn’t a race in February or July that worked for my schedule but I did run two in June, two in October and two in December.
- My fastest 5k time was 24:28 in the Treetops to Rooftops race in June. What can I say? It’s flat.
- I never imagined I would push myself to 10k as a distance, but I did register for, and complete, two 10ks in 2012. Woohoo!! I guess the 15k Stockadathon should be my new challenge?
- Albany’s Last Run is near and dear to my heart. Anytime I can run through Washington Park in the dark and feel comfortable and festive is a good time.
So, it’s a new year…what’s next? Well, I’ve got some different goals this year and, guess what? They’re not all about faster and further. Instead, I’m planning to shift the focus to pleasure and enjoying the scenery. I’m practically delirious by the thought of running in Amsterdam for the first time in 20+ years and hope to run in at least 5 countries this year. Yes, five! I’ll do my best to hit 15-20 miles a week and, as long as there is snow, feel free to mix it up by indulging in my love of cross-country skiing without guilt. Actually, without guilt, and with enjoyment, is my ultimate goal for 2013. How about you?