I Won the Lottery!!

I won the lottery!

Before you get excited, let me just say: I entered the Cherry Blossom 10 Mile Lottery. This is not to be confused with the lottery that has a huge prize purse that is only marginally attainable. Instead of a prize purse, I received an entry into the Cherry Blossom 10 Mile Race. Pick your pleasure, right?

From the Cherry Blossom website, it looks as though approximately 1/2 to 3/4 of the lottery's entrants were granted an entry.

Woohoo! Go, me!

No, seriously. Now, I have to go. As in run. As in train. To be able to run 10 miles again.

It shouldn't be too hard. I've got oodles of time. (The race is in April.) Plus, I've been entertaining my muscles with Pilates to get them strong. I did a 30 minute run yesterday without it being a big issue, which is a great start!

So, the plan is basically:
3 miles - December
5-7 miles - January
8-10 miles & speed work - February
10-12 miles & speed work - March
Race - April

Woop-woop! Back on the wagon.


GI issues resolved.

After a year and a half of issues, I finally went back to the GI doctor to get my diagnosis. I knew I was fine as long as I was dairy-free & gluten-free, but with the new boyfriend, new stressors, new house, etc. I wasn't adhering to my normal diet. Before my appointment, I binged for a week on gluten & dairy.

I hadn't felt that ill in a long time.

I had one more invasive exam with a few biopsies, but the results were all negative. It turns out that I don't have celiac's disease (HURRAY!). I do, however, have a gluten intolerance.

Gluten intolerance isn't an auto-immune disorder. A few online sources make it seem probable that gluten intolerance is a precursor to celiac's disease. That is the part which made me take notice. It's one thing to have celiac's disease & be required to be gluten-free for life. It's quite another to be gluten intolerant & to think that I may be able to not eat 100% gluten-free all the time. Must I really be gluten-free for life?

If gluten intolerance can eventually cause celiac's disease, then it's a good thing that I'm so body-aware. I've saved myself years of trouble.

Though, I have to mention - When I emailed my mother (the nurse) to give her my diagnosis, she said, "Looks like you had diagnosed yourself anyway - no charge."

This isn't going to be easy, but at least a minor slip-up isn't going to cause a major biological meltdown of my body. The more control that I exercise, the healthier I will be. And that's basically the mantra that I will need.

And thank god that we're an allergy aware culture!



As of Tuesday, I will be completely debt free. I've been slowly picking away at my student loan debt, but I was hoping that I'd use the good credit buildup for purchasing a house. But Jeff owns the house where we live, & I think I'm here to stay. So, I paid off my debt & am now a saving machine!!



Off & Running!!

Jeff & I went running again yesterday. He's much faster than I am, which is hil-a-rious when you think about how frequently I ran over the last few years & how he didn't. Well - at least we've made the pact: I'll get him to run more frequently, & he'll get me to run faster.

Today, we have plans to run again together. In order to run together, I have to jet to work early-early-early so I can be back home with time for a run. So, I'm getting up at 6:45 to ensure I get my run with Jeff in the afternoon.


In other news, we packed my entire apartment this weekend & moved most things to Jeff's house. Very few items from my apartment are left for the movers.

I'm almost all moved in!! Welcome to suburbia!!! Outside the beltway! Where's my paperbag for breathing into??


What a crappy day.

I had the crappiest day. It started with a bad morning at work, continued with a shitty afternoon, & ended with me realizing that I put a wedding on the wrong day in my calendar. When I got home, Jeff said, "I don't know if this is going to make you happy or not... but I was going to run for a mile or a mile and a half. Did you want to run together?"

It was great!! We only ran for a mile, but I was so happy!!


Work & other such things.

If you're wondering why the sudden surge of postings, I'll tell you - "Things" have finally calmed down. I've been working nonstop for the last few months on a project that "needs" me. While I like feeling needed, it would be nice to be slightly less needed.

Beyond that, I have a 1.5 hour commute (each way) to my client site. Initially, I loved it, & I was finishing a book every 3 days. Then, my neck started hurting from craning to read while on the bump-bump-bumpy ride with the stop&go mass transit. Now, I've changed to tolerating it, & I'm finishing the news, crossword puzzle (what's a 4-letter word used while running?), & sudoku. All on the same day! The next thing? Plan out the front garden/read gardening books. & then back to reading.

Speaking of reading, I've been exercising my library card lately. Today, I picked up 2 gardening books (one mid-atlantic region) & a strength training book. I figured that the book will be due when it's time to change the strength training program.

In a few weeks, I get to see my sister & then go to trapeze class with my friends Kerri & Casey. How exciting!!

Oh! & yesterday, I ran for 25 minutes. Because... it's time to start the habit.

Tonight, I am going swimming with my friend Stacey. I've printed out a workout for her (endurance/peak) & one for me (endurance/beginning). It should be fun!


Dangerous questions.

I'm going to visit some family in Connecticut in a few weeks, & I got this email from my sister:

"Are you bringing your bike?"


Conversation ensues about how she would bring hers if I would bring mine. & this... THIS!! is how I got into all that trouble last year with racing.

"Are you racing _____?"
"I'm not sure. Are you?"
"I will if you will."
"Okay. I registered."

At least all of my bike gear (minus the bike) lives in the trunk of my car.


Officially withdrawn.

I officially withdrew from the Patriots Half Ironman today. While I realized that I wasn't going to be able to race, I had forgotten that I could withdraw & receive a refund.

I hadn't been able to find time for training. Pushing myself to compete in the Half wasn't required. I'm tired of pushing-pushing-pushing for races, races, races. Partly because of the team environment that dominated my free time, I was enticed to enter into too many races & to practice more than I wanted. I had forgotten that I actually *like* to run, bike, & swim.

I went for a jog last Friday. The trails around Jeff's house are very peaceful. I've seen deer & other animals on the trails. (A fawn was born just beyond the neighbor's lawn in the copse!) My runs were good, overall. I just wished that I had more stamina. (& speed - but first things first)

I cleaned my bike & regreased my chain yesterday. So, there will be biking in my future. :) I'm still swimming with Stacey when I get the chance. It's a lot of fun.

I've also been spending time in the front flowerbeds. They WERE more like weedbeds, but now they're just large patches of dirt. My hamstrings were KILLING me after doing all of that manual labor.

So, that's what I've been up to lately.


What I've been doing...

I've been failing to update my blog for quite some time lately. There has been a little bit of training. But mostly - I just lack the time to write anything worthwhile. After a bit of nudging from a friend of mine, here's a brief update of what I'm doing lately.

1. Staying at Jeff's place every night since mid-May. While it is only a 15 minute commute from my apartment in Dupont to my client, it is a 1.5 hour commute to & from Jeff's house to my client in Chinatown. Let this be a testament to how much I enjoy spending time with him.

2. Due to #1, I've been reading a lot. A LOT. In the last 3 days, I've finished 3 books. Taking the bus & train to my client alleviates any stressful driving situations & lets me breeze through my stack of unread books. Also, I picked up a library card.

3. Stacey lives 10 minutes from Jeff. I never got to see enough of Stacey before, & now I get to see her more often. We've also become swimming buddies, which is hugely fun. I admit: I'm jealous of her endurance & want to be able to keep up with her (again).

4. Running. I ran once. Woohoo. A simple 25 minute jog where I explored the backyard trails (into the park) & tested my running legs. All in all, a good run.

5. Planning weekends away with Jeff. We've got 4 weekends of adventure in summer - 4th of July, 2 weddings, & one trip we took last weekend. Also, we will be attending this year's Austin City Limits Festival. Woohoo!!

6. Taking Peter to the vet. Peter has hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, which is basically a genetic heart disease. After we found the issue (late October of last year), Peter's been to the doctor a number of times. First, he was put on a cheap medication, which stopped working after a few months. He stopped eating & being social. Now, we've changed his medication. There is a higher possibility of side effects on these, but they are controlling his arrhythmia, blood pressure, & the progression of his heart disease. Here's hoping. It's hard to deal with bcause Peter is my little buddy. Peter was always my cat, & Charles was more of my ex's. ^&YUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUY&UUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU hhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhbgvbhjjjjjjjjjjjjjj - Peter says hi by the way.

Charles just puked next to me. I think he sensed that I was typing about Peter & wanted some attention. Ick. Well, at least it's on Jeff's side of the bed. (Just kidding, hon!)

On that note, I'll leave it here & go clean up.


We are sooo close.

Update: I only had "a" flu this time, & I've officially kicked it.

I could run tonight. (TONIGHT!!!!) I'm staying at Jeff's, & I've surreptitiously brought over my running gear in anticipation of unleashing my slow running capability onto the town of Herndon. I could run tonight... (TONIGHT!!!!) If only I hadn't scheduled a delivery of 150 iced sugar cookies & a groom's cake for this Saturday. I'm behind, & I'd like to be away from the kitchen on Wednesday to treat the boyfriend to a movie night.

Damn. The things me & my fat ass do when we don't triathlon...

I haven't gone for a swim in a month even though my swimming gear (i.e. suit, goggles, & cap) is brazenly hanging in Jeff's bathroom. The bike sits forlornly at my place & has a 1/4 inch of dust on it. I may need to fix all of these things soon.

Jeff says that the WOD is right near his place, & I could take it "all the way out to Leesburg", which isn't that far on a bike (about 12 miles). However, I could snag a 50 mile ride if I biked from his place to the end of the W&OD. Upon learning this & reading Athena Diaries, I realized that I do miss riding. As I can't bring my bike over to Jeff's & then say, "Gee! How'd that get here?!" I got permission to bring my bike to his place (not that I need to ask but it's always nice to ask).

Now, all I have to do is start e.x.e.r.c.i.s.i.n.g. And also not wear my cleats in the house.



My back is finally healed. As soon as I kick this version of strep (the third this year), I'll be back on my feet again.

I can't wait.


In the meantime...

While my back was healing, I went to Europe with my Mom. Pictures are on Picasa.



Back update.

Just to let you know (for those of you who don't). I've broken three bones in my back. Three of my transverse processes (tongue depressor shaped bones attached to my vertabrae) are broken. The doctor says they are very minor fractures, & that I should not be extremely worried about them.

The doctor advised that I return to my normal level of activity. To which I replied, "So, I can run?" His response, "Urrr... no. Well, maybe you could try on a treadmill very slowly & only for a few minutes. Discomfort is allowed - Pain is not." So, I decided to try swimming with my friend Stacey first.

Swimming with Stacey was a lot of fun. I had mild discomfort & slight pain when I breathed on my right side with my freestyle stroke. Trust me when I say - I took it very easy still. Even my kicking was fairly slow. I drifted to my right on plenty of occasions. I managed to do breast stroke for a while without issues, which made me happy.

This slip down the stairs has forced me into reassessing my goals for the year. I had planned on completing the half Ironman in September, but I may not be able to cycle until June/July.

We shall see.


Tomorrow starts training...

.... except I fell down some stairs yesterday.... while carrying a stack of 8 plates & 8 forks, a glass of wine, & my phone. The only thing that survived that fall-bump-bump was the glass of wine.

I had to take the day off from work. I needed assistance to complete my abbreviated bedtime ritual. Sometimes, it hurts to walk. Running tomorrow is completely out of the question. I am having the worst luck. But at least I have a good boyfriend who will sit & care for me while he was supposed to be entertaining guests.

Silver linings!


M.C. Bakes-a-Lot.

I have news. First, I wrote out my triathlon schedule for the Half Ironman in September. I haven't heard back from the doctor yet, but I feel very healthy. So, we'll see.

Second, remember my first paid baking gig (i.e. the baby shower onesie)? Well, I have 2 more paid baking gigs approaching.

The earliest one happens in a few weeks. I will be making gluten-free dairy-free cupcakes for a friend's engagement party. Flavors haven't been decided upon yet. The couple is going to let me know what they want.

The next paid baking gig is A) larger & B) more stressful. I'll be making a groom's cake for a friend's wedding. I'll also be making the wedding favors.

The groom's cake is going to be a lot of fun. My 30th birthday is approaching, & I had planned an evening or two of cake decorating as a present to myself. Now, those evenings will serve as practice for the groom's cake. Fondant, artistic decorations, etc. I'm so excited!!

The wedding favors are a little more tricky. You see - I only make cookies one time per year, & I rarely make sugar cookies. & I rarely decorate any of my cookies with icing. It'll be good practice (which I've already started). The best part? My boyfriend has offered his HUGE kitchen as my baking playground. My kitchen has one 16"x20" counter where I can work. His has .... maybe 5 times that.

So, here goes nothing (now with elbow room).