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Wednesday, April 30, 2008


I used to have a dream, about every month or two, starting sometime around 2002, and the last time I had it was summer 2006. There were variations, but the basic theme was that I was in a building (usually the oceanfront condo in Ocean City that my family used to have). Sometimes my mom and Vic or other members of my family was there, sometimes Dave was there, sometimes not. A tidal wave or flood was coming. Usually a tidal wave, and I knew we had to get away and either we couldn't in time or some other factor was going on. Sometimes, I was alone and wanted people to help me. I would wake up either right as the wave hit or right before.

It was freaky. I had that dream often.

Like I said, that dream is over. I don't have it anymore. But, I realized I've got a new one. I had to have it several times before I picked up on it. The new dream is that I'm in an amusement park, and I'm either standing in line for or riding a roller coaster. Last night, I was riding with a stranger who was trying to talk to me.

I need to have it a few times to understand it more and figure out what the common elements are.

I've also had a few dreams lately where I'm in a grocery store. Neither are as scary as the tidal wave dream.

... and when I'm on a dive trip, I dream that I'm at work or going about my daily life, above water, and a fish randomly will swim by. Those are funny dreams.

There Goes Saturday's Dinner Plans...

Venuti's is Closed.

I now have a party of 13, including 2 children, with no where to eat.

UPDATE 3pm: Il Porto is open and available. Reservations made. Yay!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Recipe: Braised Herb Chicken Thighs with Potatoes

Mmmm... dinner tonight.

It was cold and rainy yesterday when I was planning meals for this week, so I ended up planning what I call "winter food." This recipe was one of them and was quite tasty. It cooks for a long time (compared to other weeknight meals I usually make - 35 minutes), but was very easy. The only downside was that I drank a bunch of the wine while I was cooking. Here is the recipe.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

One Week

One week until the Frederick Half Marathon.

I'm sitting here negotiating with myself about running. I've had a less-than-motivated few days. I ran my run fine on Tuesday, and then Thursday I fully intended to, but then the bed and time spent with Todd (bad influence sometimes) seemed more fun. Plus, Thursday, I decided I could run Friday. Friday, we didn't have time to run because we had a dinner date with Todd's family. So, yesterday, I did my second short run of the week. Even that was a bit silly because I wanted to sleep in (as my Twitter said, this is my last weekend of sleeping in before running begins), and so I didn't start my run until about 10am, and by then the sun was up and strong and hot. I attempted to run on the treadmill instead (funny how in cold weather I run outside and Todd runs on the treadmill and in hot weather I run on the treadmill and Todd has no issue running outside). However, my iPod was completely dead and I didn't want to run on the treadmill with no iPod. So, I reluctantly ran outside, hot, miserable.

... so, now. I'm supposed to do my long run today. This was part of my Thursday/Friday self-negotiation. It's better running weather today, being overcast and cooler. However, I am still sitting here telling myself that I can do the long run tomorrow and run the weekly short runs on Wednesday and Friday (since the race is Sunday). Have I learned nothing from the past few days? First, tomorrow there is a 90% chance of rain and since Todd is clearly running tomorrow, there is a 0% chance I will be able to use the treadmill tomorrow. Plus, I'm doing nothing and last night we went to Snickerdoodles, so I really should just go frickin run and I'll feel better. Blah. At a minimum, I can run up to the older part of the neighborhood and see if there are lilacs up there (lilacs are my favorite flower and I have yet to smell any this spring).

Not that I've done nothing this whole weekend, yesterday we ran a bunch of errands and got yard work done. Today, I finished up most of the B&O Railroad website and I only have a couple more things left to do there. Thank goodness, as that's been a big thing hanging over me.

Anyway, it's my taper week, so I really need to just go out and run an easy 6 miles or so.

In other news, I did do one Josh Hillis workout and it went well. However, I had serious second thoughts about starting a new and unfamiliar program the week of a 15 mile long run and two weeks before a target race, so I'll be picking up again with that on May 5.

Now... the Bug has crawled on my lap and has taken a position that is not at all comfortable for me and cannot possibly be comfortable for him. Yet another reason to go out and run. So, fine. Here I go out for a damned run.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Review: Diettogo

Well, I've been using Diettogo now for maybe 6 weeks.  What do I think?

As I said in the link above, I pickup my food on Tuesdays and Fridays.  The gym I go to has a fridge, so if I can't pick up on the pick up day, I sometimes go Monday or Wednesdays before work (or one very late day, I went at lunch on Monday and missed the first meal).  Usually, food arrives fairly early and I usually go and pick up around lunchtime even though the website states that they only guarantee it to be there by 5pm.  I've found that even when I show up at 12:30 or 1pm, it's already there.  In fact, I just got back from picking up Mondays & Tuesdays meals a minute ago.  I'm only doing breakfast and lunches Monday through Friday, so I've never had their dinners.  I'm on the 1200 calorie low fat plan.

So, is it good?

It depends on your goal.  There are four others at my work also doing Diettogo and I've noticed two of them losing weight (the other two I either haven't seen or they were thin to begin with).  I wasn't really doing Diettogo to lose weight.  I was trying to lose weight, yes, but my main goal was to just get something convenient yet healthy to have at work for breakfast and lunch, and to get some variety.  For the most part, Diettogo has met those needs and gotten me pretty much to the goal weight that I had in mind for the Frederick Half Marathon.  An additional benefit is that it's encouraged me to eat a few more calories for breakfast and lunch than I was eating before.  I was eating too few calories during the day and this was bad for several reasons: potential slow metabolism during the day, insane hunger at times after 3pm, I was eating the majority of my calories at night and on bad things, and I was getting dizzy/nauseous during my evening runs.  These are all bad things that I've mostly resolved with Diettogo when I throw in a snack.  Even though I'm on the 1200 calorie plan, my real goal is 1500 calories per day, net.  For example, if I don't run or work out, I eat 1500 calories and if I do run and burn 400 calories, I eat 1900 calories that day.  On days when I run I must eat a snack in the afternoon to not feel bad during my run.

Any bad things?

Nothing horrible, and it shows because I'm sticking with it at least for a little while.  It can be a little bit of a pain to have to go pick up the food, but it's very close to my work and therefore including going into the gym to get it I'm usually only spending max of 10 minutes picking it up.  If you go out and pick up fast food everyday, this saves you the time three days a week.  The food tastes good for the most part.  This isn't gourmet and you're not going to be sending compliments to the chef everyday, but it's certainly equal to if not better than a Lean Cuisine, taste-wise (and usually more filling).  There were a couple of meals I didn't like, but there is a nice web form that allows you to substitute out a bad meal for one you really like better and they will bring you that one instead.  I've done this with a few meals during the month.  The low fat plan has some serious muffin-overload problems where if you want to bet at what the next breakfast is, it's likely a muffin (or a scone, which is just a dry version of a muffin).  Love muffins??  This is for you!  I've substituted out some of the less tasty muffins to get a little variety (getting pancakes instead).  Pancake day is awesome (today was a pancake day - blueberry!!). 

The cost is reasonable, and I am really enjoying it.  Once again, if you'd like to try let me know and I'll send you a coupon code to save some money.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Review: Diver Down my Michael Ange

First off, let me say that I have a fascination with Scuba Diving accidents. It started when I first became certified and started reading Alert Diver (Diver Alert Network's magazine). When I first started reading the accident reports from there, I think Todd was a little worried that it would scare me out of diving, but it didn't. In fact, I think my constant quest for knowledge about accidents has led me to become a safer diver with the utmost respect for the sport. I'm a regular reader of the "Accident and Incidents" forum at (although I don't usually post there, only lurk). This book was another way for me to continue my education on the subject. I've found things to correct in my diving, or at least things to remember and watch for.

Diver Down is a book that every scuba diver should read. It is a wonderful collection of both scuba diving information and real-world examples of incidents and accidents, including analysis on what went wrong and what divers can do to keep from repeating these same mistakes. The book is short enough to read fairly quickly and reading it can save your life. Too often divers take unnecessary risks, without truly realizing that they are even doing so. This book serves as a helpful reminder of why rules and procedures exist and the sometimes severe consequences of failing to follow them. If you are a scuba diver, I highly recommend picking this one up.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Hooray SIGG!

We first discovered SIGG bottles from the manager at Southern Cross Club in Little Cayman. He really loves them and swears by them. Well, we've been reading and hearing about the problems with plastic bottles and polycarbonate #7 and we finally decided to upgrade from plastic bottles to SIGG bottles.

They ROCK! Todd bought two the other day, and I have two coming in the mail. I got a sport bottle for running and a classic bottle for work. If you want to order, I found good deals at (I also got a lunch bag) and you can use a coupon code f70838 to save 20% today.

I got the red bottle on the right...

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Diving Update

Vacations are killing me because Current Employer doesn't give me very much vacation time at all.  It's irritating to have found something that I've really come to love but have to have both money and vacation time to do it.  Yes, I can dive in the Atlantic, there are wreck dives off of Fenwick and Ocean City, but there are 2 problems with that: It's cold there, and I am a little fearful of the dive conditions in the Atlantic.  I have a lot of experience now, having dove 70 dives, but they were all in warm tropical waters. 

So, the solution to my fear of the Atlantic is to get more trained.  We're going to be taking our Advanced Open Water Certification soon, and then I'll have dove locally (since 6 dives in a quarry is a requirement of the AOW Certification).  I have a HUGE respect for the sport of diving.  I know how dangerous it is and therefore I think it's important to stay educated.  I'm excited about it also, because it's something new.  After that, I'll be looking at taking the Stress & Rescue course, since I want to be a good buddy and be able to help people in distress.

The solution for the vacation problem is... We are going back to Bonaire.  We spent some time looking at what to do for our second dive trip of the year, trying to figure out vacation schedules, etc.  The Pacific was suggested (and I'm now determined that the Pacific will come in 2009 when I have more vacation time), as well as Hawaii (yes, technically the Pacific), and many many islands in the Caribbean.  We ended up deciding on TWO more trips this year, one in early fall/late summer, one in late fall/early winter.  Since we couldn't decide Bonaire or someplace new, if we take two trips, we can do BOTH.  It only required some finagling on my part, but it worked out. 

I've been reading a lot of diving books lately, so I'll have some reviews to share soon.  I expect to finish my latest (Diver Down) this week.

Monday, April 21, 2008

2 more weeks...

Two more weeks until Galloway 2008 begins (oh, and the Frederick half...). Nick sent me this, so in honor of 2 weeks...


I thought it might be better to edit it to make it look like Todd & me. I know I'm risking copyright infringement, so I won't leave it up forever (and oh, I'm such a threat since I have a whole 5 regular readers).

My edited version

Oh yeah! It's that time of year!!!!!

Note: See how the girl is frowning and the guy really isn't? That is sort of how it looks when we run together, as I usually am pushing myself and Todd is "lightly jogging."

Note 2: I decided I don't give a crap that the image is too big. I'm a developer, not a designer. Get the artsy people to deal with that!! BAH!

Note 3: I changed my mind and made a link since it was hiding my Twitter and what would anyone's day be with out reading up on random things I have to say every few hours?

Note 4: Todd and I polished off a bottle of wine tonight, and we NEVER drink anymore. Can you tell?

Friday, April 18, 2008

So Happy...

Spring feels so good.  It was weird because I looked forward to spring all winter and then went through this weird phase where as spring was approaching, I didn't want it to come.  But, now that it's here, I feel a lot better.  Flowers are blooming, things are looking pretty.  Yesterday after work, I went for my run wearing a singlet and shorts!  Yay!  After a shower, we took an evening drive in the little car and watched the sunset over the countryside (also listening to some good music, fresh off of iTunes...  has anyone heard of Landon Pigg?  That song is good).  It was still a little chilly, but a great night.

I've got a 15 mile run this weekend, so I'll have more time out in the nice weather (although I think it might rain this weekend).  I'm ready to plant flowers again, even though last year's flowers were a total bust.  Is it too early to start planting?

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Romeo's Tune

by Keith Urban
My new favorite song. I'm going through a Keith Urban phase, which sort of sucks because he was just here in concert and I was busy that day. Anyway, happy songs! :)

Meet me in the middle of the day
Let me hear you say everything's okay
Bring me southern kisses from your room

Meet me in the middle of the night
Let me hear you say everything's alright
Let me smell the moon in your perfume

Oh, Gods and years will rise and fall
And there's always something more
It's lost in talk, I waste my time

And it's all been said before

While further down behind the masquerade the tears are there
I don't ask for all that much I just want someone to care
That's right now

Meet me in the middle of the day
Let me hear you say everything's okay
Come on out beneath the shining sun

Meet me in the middle of the night
Let me hear you say everything's alright
Sneak on out beneath the stars and run

It's king and queen and we must go down now beyond the chandelier
Where I won't have to speak my mind and you won't have to hear
Shreds of news and afterthoughts and complicated scenes
We'll huddle down behind the light and fade like magazines

Meet me in the middle of the day
Let me hear you say everything's okay
Bring me southern kisses from your room

Hey hey, meet me in the middle of the night
Let me hear you say everything's alright
Let me smell the moon in your perfume

Oh now, meet me in the middle of the day
Let me hear you say everything's okay
Let me see you smiling back at me

Hey, meet me in the middle of the night
Let me hear you say everything's alright
Hold me tight and love and loving's free

Tuesday, April 15, 2008


From Jeff Galloway's Blog...

Karen and Bobby Levin hosted me at their Fleet Feet store in Baltimore on Saturday, April 12. We had a great turnout for the kickoff of the Fall season. Some of the veterans in this program became injured during the past year, because they did not follow the run-walk-run guidelines on long runs, which they had been told to use. You can't take too many walk breaks on long runs.

FOLLOW JEFF'S ADVICE! My group is definitely staying on track this year... I'm in total agreement with Jeff's philosophy. I wish I'd been able to make it on Saturday. My grandma had to take priority though.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Grandma's 90th Birthday Party

So, Todd and I headed down to Virginia this morning for my Grandma's 90th birthday party. It was our job to pick her up for her big day, so we went to her house this morning and took her to the Hair Cuttery and then back to her house to get ready. Then, it was off to the party, which was in Warrenton.

It was a huge event! My Aunt Linda did a great job putting the party together and it was very nicely done. I learned a ton of new things about the family that probably everyone but me knows. Somebody needs to write it all down... if I had good enough notes, I could write a biography. I do like to write (hint hint to family members that read this blog).

Anyway, there were a ton of photos and a big family tree that my Uncle Ken has been working hard to put together. I also found out how my grandmother and her 12 siblings got their names, and that one of my relatives died in a prison for union officers in 1862 (even though it seems highly unlikely that anyone in my family would have fought for the union, so it's speculated that he was there for some other reason). The prison was Libby Prison, if you're curious, Nick... do you know of a way to find out more info on that?

We had a nice meal and a few people said a few words. We learned the story of my grandma's life, and then watched a video of photos and tributes.

Good times, but a long day. Happy birthday, Grandma!!

Vic, Grandma & my Mom

Todd, Grandma & Me

My cousin, Lori & Me

Todd & Me

Dad & Me

Back Row, L to R: Brad (Lori's Husband), Jerry (Lisa's Husband), Frank (Sharon's Husband), Patrick (Shelly's Husband), my cousin Paul, my brother Bo, my cousin David
Front Row, L to R: Me, my cousin Lori, my cousin Lisa, Grandma, my sister Sharon, my sister Shelly, Karen (David's wife), my aunt Nancy

Friday, April 11, 2008

ON NOTICE: American Airlines

You know, I don't even have any flights booked with American Airlines right now.  Still, I've been quietly FUMING over the American Airlines Controversy that's going on. 

I HATE AMERICAN AIRLINES.  If I never flew with them again, I'd be a happy person.  Dave and I took them to Brussels and home from London in late 2005, and we had to deal with a lack of legroom, rude flight attendants (I had misplaced my pen and couldn't fill out the customs documents, and the flight attendants acted like I was asking her to hand over her first born), and a lack of a decent entertainment system compared to other international flights I've taken.  Todd and I flew American to Miami for our cruise in 2006, and then again to Bonaire and Little Cayman in 2007. 

The last straw was coming home from Little Cayman in July, when our 3 hour layover turned into a 25 hour layover.  Our first flight was canceled because of "weather," even though other American Airlines flights were still taking off and the thunderstorms that had kept our flight from Cayman from landing for 45 minutes had blown out.  You see, if the flight is canceled for weather, American is not obligated to reimburse you or even pay for your hotel room.  The flight was nearly empty - there were only a handful of us scheduled to be on the flight, and weather seemed like an awfully nice excuse to cancel the flight.  And no, before you guess that it was due to weather somewhere else, the weather-related reason was specifically said to be the thunderstorms in the MIAMI area, where it was now clear (not to mention that the flight was canceled 2 hours before we were supposed to take off, even though that 2 hours would have been plenty of time to wait for any lingering storms to clear).  And like I said, other flights, and other AMERICAN AIRLINES flights were taking off.  We were smarter for our November 2007 trip to Little Cayman.  We flew with US Airways through Charlotte - both a better airline and a better airport.

It comes to no surprise to me that American is not necessarily issuing refunds to passengers through this mess.  They need to fess up and take a lot of responsibility for this, get their planes back in order as fast as possible, and be a little bit nicer to their passengers.  I realize that I can't hope for them to fail, as they are a huge airline and failure by them would ruin my ability to get to Bonaire next time around (this fall?? who knows), as well as to many other Caribbean destinations.  Certainly, though, other airlines are managing to stay afloat without such devastating results from their inspections.  Yes, many have canceled flights (including my beloved Southwest), but not to this extent.  Not 50+% of their schedule for DAYS.

Sure, passengers can reschedule, but when they're canceling flights day after day, when??  People have non-refundable hotels and tours and cruises and things.  People have re-arranged their schedules, wasted vacation days, arranged for care of their children and pets, paid to park their cars places.  AA didn't reimburse me for the extra vacation day I had to use when I was delayed in Miami, they didn't care that our car was in the garage at the airport for another day. Thankfully, The bug wasn't at a kennel.  And what about people who were going on important business trips, or for family functions - weddings, funerals?  What a mess, and sloppy maintenance is responsible.

Of course, I'm glad that nothing horrible happened as a result of these poorly maintained planes flying.  I think grounding them was the right thing to do. Next time, though, just maintain the damn planes!!!!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Another New Experiment: Josh Hillis

I mentioned it last week.  I've been mulling over doing Josh Hillis' workout.  I bought his book and I've been reading it over and I like it, so I'm going to try it. 

As much as I love Cathe, and I do, her weight workouts haven't been motivating me lately.  Cardio, yes.  I've done IMAX2 like 5 times in the past month or two.  But, when I put in one of her weight workouts, I get bored.  I've always said that when something isn't working fitness-wise, instead of blaming yourself, quit doing it and move on to something that works better.  So, I'm taking some of my own advice.

Not that I've been unsuccessful, because I have been very successful.  I'm just over 3 pounds from the weight goal I wanted to reach for the Frederick Half Marathon, and with just over 3 weeks remaining until the race, I'm right on track.  I've only missed one short run and no long runs so far (not counting the weekend I didn't run when I was in Disney, since that was planned).  I've been cross-training with step aerobics, usually 1-2 times per week, and I've been doing some weights, just not with the consistency that I should.

So.  The goal for the Josh Hillis workouts is to get the most bang for my buck, or at least the best workout I can get in the shortest period of time.  One of the problems with Cathe's weight videos is that they are just too long.  If I want to do a decent full body weight video of hers, I'm looking at a minimum of an hour.  I'm hoping Josh's workouts will be different and fun and also 30-45 minutes, allowing me to move on to the cardio that I really want to be doing.  Josh's workouts focus on compound exercises and not isolating muscles, which is great because it will allow me to work multiple muscles at once, therefore reducing the amount of time spent on strength.

Another thing that bugs me about Cathe right now is that I've lost nearly all of my upper body strength and I am frustrated with the advanced moves that she does for core and with push ups, etc.  I end up laying on the floor watching her working her abs, which isn't doing me any favors.  Josh had some great looking beginner moves that I'd like to try to get me back into the game.

So, we'll see.  I'm going to start the workouts on Monday, and then in a couple of months I'll report back on what I think of the workouts.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

What Would You Do?

I've been trying to figure out what my ideal job is.  Java programming is ok.  On days when I have something new and interesting to do, I can really sit down and focus and I like being able to solve problems, do interesting things, and constantly learn.  I also usually really like my co-workers (geeks are cool).  But, there are a lot of bad things, too, mostly related to being in the corporate world, and sometimes I just get BORED. 

So, I've been trying to figure out my ideal job.  What is it that I would do if I could and if money didn't matter?  This is something that was in the movie Office Space, too, where they said something to the affect of "no one would be garbage men if that's how people chose their job."  (For the record, I know someone who wanted to be a garbage man when he was a kid.  You know who you are).  Anyway, my initial realization was that even if I do something I love, like owning a running store or leading a running group or personal training, or dive master, or nutritionist, or professional video gamer, or whatever, I'd still get bored.  Eventually, I wouldn't love it anymore.

So, what do I do??  I figured it out!!  I would travel the world, taking jobs, doing them for a while, and then when I get bored, I'd move on.  I would see everything I wanted to see, I would do everything I wanted to do.  And when it got old... I'd settle down and write a book.

Ok, how do I make that happen?

Monday, April 7, 2008

Finances: Dollar-Cost Averaging Bad?

So, I've been reading Get Rich Slowly lately.  You can find the link to it in my list of blogs I read on the right side, if you are interested.  Through them, I came across this article about Dollar-Cost Averaging.  I found it pretty interesting.  Dollar-Cost Averaging has been preached to me over time by just about anyone that claims to know anything about investing.  It was interesting to read something that counters that logic. 

You see, when I sold my house, I took the money and thought about it for a couple months.  Then, I had some time and I had done some stock research and I took it and invested a large chunk (about 60%) in mutual funds that I really liked.  Then, another chunk (10%) was put into common stocks, with the thought that I could start small and start playing with the market and seeing how I did.  Still, that 10% in stock was assumed to be a long-term investment.  I'm no day-trader and I don't have time to sit on the market all day.  The other 30% went into my savings account - part of it meant to be a down payment on a new car, which I intended to buy within the next year (still thinking about that, as you know), and the rest being a rainy-day fund of readily available cash if I needed it.  I am a single lady and that makes me feel more secure.  I've since put any additional savings (whenever that savings account gets too far over 30% of my total savings) into the stock market, so my stock portfolio is growing.

Still, I've been annoyed with myself for choosing lump-sum over dollar-cost averaging.  Honestly, I chose lump-sum partially out of just forgetting to dollar-cost average and getting excited about investing.  I also wanted to reduce the amount of transaction fees that I paid.  The more the stock market falls, the more I've been kicking myself for dumping everything into it at once.  So, I'm pretty happy to see that I may have made a good decision after all.  Sure, I'm still down overall, but not down as much as the market is.  And, I still have some money safely in my savings account.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Just a note...

The tech tax was officially repealed. Gives me a smidgen of temporary faith in the political process.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Take Control of Your Finances!

Just a reminder for everyone to go out and get your free annual credit report.  You are entitled to view your credit report once a year for free and you really should, just to check and see that everything is ok.  By keeping an eye on your report, you can make sure that no one is opening accounts in your name.

How to do so?  Just go to

That's today's public service announcement! :)

Friday, April 4, 2008

Running Update

Training Update
I'm now exactly one month from the next race, the Frederick Half Marathon.  Training has been going very well.  Things got a little crazy and I have been flipping weeks and making changes to the schedule because spring is here and that means that Todd and I are coming out of hibernation and starting to have a social life and plans again.  Plus, I was sick last weekend.  I still have one long run left and one speed workout left before the marathon, but I know for certain that I will be at the starting line confident in my preparedness. 

Running Reading & Yay Karen!
Some interesting reading things about running lately.  I've been a little obsessed with the women on the cover and inside of Runners World.  Abs, mostly.  I know I can't achieve a six pack.  I might actually be physically capable of it, but I'm not mentally able to keep my diet clean enough for the period of time required to get a six pack.  Still, it's interesting to see the crazy abs and muscles of some of these chicks and at least strive to get as close as I can.  I was also interested in an article I read in the latest issue (May's issue, I think) that stated that if you want to lose weight and weight loss is your goal, you should be running half marathons.  People that join a full marathon program with the goal of losing weight drop out more frequently than those only trying to do the distance or that have some other goal.  Interesting stuff.  Another interesting thing I found recently from Runners World is the Running For Two blog, which chronicles a pregnant runner and how she handles staying active during her pregnancy.  I haven't had a chance to really, really read it, but I have to admit it's a topic that interests me. 

Also, congrats to Karen from Fleet Feet, who shocked me by showing up in a Runners World article in that latest issue.  Bravo!!  Karen and Bobby are also preparing to run the Boston Marathon.  Their training has not been without its roadblocks this year, so I'm sending out warm wishes to them.

Another great blog that I found is Josh Hillis' Fitness Blog.  I've been reading through some of the things he has to say and I really like his training philosophy.  It's a pretty simple, no nonsense approach.  In one of his articles, he quotes Neal Spruce, who says,
You must come to accept the factual calories in and out aspect of weight management; otherwise, there's no point in trying to solve for the motivation aspect. Repeat after me: if you're overweight, it's not because of your age, it's not your thyroid, it's not menopause, it's not because you don't eat enough, it's not your parents' fault, it's not the number of fat cells you were born with, it's not that you don't do your aerobic work in your target heart range, it's not high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), it's not that you weren't breast fed, it's not your medication, it's not your hormones, it's not sugar, it's not trans fat, it's not saturated fats, it's not carbohydrates, it's not because you eat after 7:00PM, it's not because you had a baby, it's not because you eat the wrong glycemic foods, and, no, it's not the fast food industry's fault if you are overweight and don't like it...

...So let's get past the calorie piece and all the misinformation and boil it down to one simple sentence you can apply to your life right now: "I won't think about anything else except eating fewer calories than I burn until I reach my goal."  Say it again! "I won't think about anything else except eating fewer calories than I burn until I reach my goal".

Pretty good advice.  Josh also advocates The Stripper Workout (kinda fun).  I'm most interested in Josh's recommendations for strength training for runners.  I've come to completely agree with a lot of his fundamental advice on the subject.  My weight training has been present, but I've been focusing a lot on cardio for weight loss and less on the strength training.  Once I get through the Frederick Half and start my Galloway training, I'm going to give Josh's advice a try.  I'll need to think about the kettlebells though.  I don't know a lot about them, but I've heard good things.  However, I don't know how interested I am in investing in some other fitness equipment right now, especially when I am really thinking of buying a bike.

Have a Bike to Sell?
That being said, if anyone has a women's bike that they'd like to sell to me, I'm in the market.  I have a few things I'm looking for.  Basically, I want a bike that is not too expensive - I'd like to stay under $200, but that is negotiable, just an idea.  I would like it to be a women's bike, I don't like men's bikes.  I'd like to be able to ride it on the road and the NCR trail.  I'd like it to be cheap in price, but not embarrassing to ride.  So, it needs to be something at least a little decent.  Thoughts?  Anyone know anything about bikes?

Wednesday, April 2, 2008


Hooray! (Thanks for the link, Nick)

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Ok, ok...

No, I'm not engaged.


I JUST CAN'T HELP IT THOUGH! Fake posts on April Fools Day rock! Just ask thinkgeek.

Anyway, while I'm not saying that it's completely out of the realm of possibility that I might make a real announcement like that sometime (after all, who wouldn't want to be tied to this guy for life?), it's pretty much impossible that:
  1. Todd would propose in Disney World
  2. I would see the UMBC Gang and not tell them.
  3. I wouldn't have thrown some kind of hint out there at some point.
  4. I would forget it was April Fools Day.
So, happy April fools and I hope my cousins see this update if they saw the original post.

Oh, and I just can't leave that as the only picture of Todd, so here... ah, I could look at that one all night.
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