FoodDay Friday – The Fridge

This is that post that was supposed to get posted 2 weeks ago!

For some reason, I’ve seen way too many things popping up in various feeds involving the contents of people’s refrigerators- from what runners should have in their fridge for a better run, to cleaning myths, to a contest to win a Voltron shirt by inventorying your icebox. Slow news day? Is it National Clean Out Your Fridge Week*? Whatever the reason, I’ll jump on the bandwagon with a list of things that are almost always in the fridge in my house.

Garlic Paste

I’m Italian. Garlic goes in everything. 

I’m also lazy. Garlic (unless it’s the really fresh garlic I get at the Garlic Festival) is a pain in the ass to peel and mince. Garlic paste allows me to skip those steps (and occasionally steal a squirt like it’s chocolate syrup.) Once upon a time, I would have just used garlic powder, but no more.

Butter

I may be a butter hoarder. Whenever it is on sale, I will totally throw 4 pounds of butter in my cart and then come back the next day for more. I really only use it for baking, but I NEED to have it available at all times. I actually keep so much butter on hand that I have become blind to its existence on my refrigerator shelves. Example: On Monday I went to make an Oreo cake for Jay’s birthday. I had a mini-hissy that I had NO butter in the house and had to resort to using margarine (why I had that I don’t know.) Yesterday afternoon, as I looked for garlic paste, I found 2 whole boxes of Hotel Bar butter in the door. How I missed 2 bright red boxes sitting in the fridge is beyond me.

And before my family interjects with this horrible anecdote from my childhood, let me just say it: when I was a kid (like, 3) I would eat butter like candy bars. My mother would find my teeth marks in the sticks of butter. The only way she could stop me, was by switching to tubs of butter. And by the way Mom- I wasn’t dumb. I just grabbed a spoon. Duh. I’m pretty sure I quit before elementary school.

Rogue Yogurt

There is always a stock pile of yogurt, but then there is always that container that magically wanders away from the rest of of them. They’ll all be nicely stacked on the right side of the middle shelf, but then that one- that stupid single container- winds up on the top shelf in way back left corner. It is way above my eye-line and even if I look from underneath the clear shelf, it just so happens to be blocked by the giant water dispenser in there. I find it at least 3 weeks after its ‘best if used by’ date. There’s a dollar that will never be seen again.

“What was in that?” Tupperware Container

I have all the good intentions of saving leftovers and extra ingredients for later use- half an onion, leftover gravy (pasta sauce), the rest of a can of bean sprouts. I either don’t use them, forget about them, or they follow the Rogue Yogurt into its private black hole in the back of the fridge. I just pulled not one, but TWO Tupperwares of refried black beans. One of them still looked like black beans. The other looked like when the lady who cleaned all of our Petri dishes in my college microbiology lab went on vacation and nobody bothered to clean up after themselves. That container got chucked in the trash. I wasn’t risking breathing in whatever alien mold spores I was harboring in my icebox.

I was not going to be responsible for releasing a mold plague of doom.

*Cleaning out your fridge does not get a whole week. Just a day- November 15.

Wonder Mom Wednesday – Favorite Mom Moments

One of the blogs that I follow, This Mama Runs for Cupcakes, has teamed up with Mom Who Tris and Mom Swim Bike Run to host a blog link-up called Wonder Mom Wednesday. They invited anyone to link up. I figured, “Why not?”

This Week’s Topic- Favorite Mom Moments from last week

First off, I am fully aware that today is Thursday. I am a mom and I work full time 63 miles away from home. Sometimes I just can’t get to blog writing and things get shifted about. Recaps don’t get written until 3 days after a race and Wednesday posts become Thursday posts. I actually have a FoodDay Friday post that was supposed to go out 2 Fridays ago but is still sitting in the draft pile. Also, sometimes I get lost in an X-Files binge on Netflix. So I blame the aliens for my late post.

On to this week’s topic. Favorite mom moments from last week. Here goes:

X repeatedly asking when he can go “run too fast” again.

IMG_1269[1]I don’t know if it is because he truly enjoys running or if he just likes getting medals, or if he just likes that he gets to wear his Iron Man Under Armour, but ever since he ran the Run Like a Mother kid’s 1 miler, he always wants to go running with us. If he’s in the jogging stroller, he insist he gets out and run, too. I think it’s been happening more this week because he ran a little bit of the General Montgomery Day 8K and hasn’t come off his adrenaline rush yet.

X playing happily, nicely, and bravely.

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I don’t usually get to see X playing with kids around his age. Jay drops him off at day care and I only occasionally get to pick him up. I don’t have time nor the interpersonal skills to take him on play dates. The neighborhood kids are all way bigger than him. This weekend, though, we stayed in Rhode Island for the Surftown Half Marathon and X got to play with other kids. He showed Christina’s Baby A and Hannah’s daughter the wonders of Batman and the other Avengers. He sat and watched Frozen with all the kids, which was a miracle because usually unless someone is wearing a cape or yelling “Hulk SMASH!!” he won’t watch it. The most cool thing was watching him play on the beach with Tiffany’s 4 1/2 year old son and 2 1/2 year old daughter. With zero fear, he wandered out chase the waves and giggle and dig sand and do beach things with the other kids. When at the beach in Rehoboth, he was very afraid of the water and it took either me and Jay or Jay and my dad holding his hands to get him to even dip a toe in the surf. This time, he even jumped on Tiffany’s husband’s skimboard! Who is this kid?

Baby’s First Smiley Face on Baby’s First Homework
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As a nerd, it is only natural to completely ecstatic that my 3 year old is already getting homework. He was excited to get it done, wanted more, and got a “Good job” and a smiley face on his daily sign-in sheet for it.

X geeking out

I have no picture for this, but when I opened up Netflix on the X-Box last week, X started singing “Doo-bie, doo-bie, dooo-bie” to the tune of the X-Files theme. How effing awesome is it that X has learned the theme to my favorite 90s SciFi tv show? I mean, I know it’s just because Jay and I have been binging on it lately and he hears it ALL THE TIME but it’s still pretty cool. He even has started to request it sometimes when we tell him that no, he cannot watch a 7th episode of Justice League. I probably shouldn’t be letting him watch such a grown up show, but I’m a bit of an X-Phile and can usually tell whether or not the next episode is one that has too much violence or would give him nightmares. Though I did mis-remember a recent one and X may have seen someone decapitated. Oddly, he didn’t seem bothered by it and only remarked, “he got a boo-boo on his neck. He has to go the hospital.” Why, yes, X. He does have a rather nasty boo-boo.

Moms uniting

The last favorite mom moment was not involving the kiddo directly. It occurred when unpacking in Rhode Island. I had packed a few DVDs to keep all the kiddos entertained. I pulled out a DVD of the acclaimed children’s book, Don’t Let The Pigeon Drive the Bus. Tiffany’s son, well versed in the awesomeness that is Mo Willems, immediately reacted saying “Don’t let the pigeon drive the bus!” Having read the darned book way more times that I care to admit, I responded with:

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“But his cousin Herb drives a bus almost every day!”

From within the kitchen, I hear Tiffany respond, without missing a beat:

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The very next line in the book.

This is completely on par with whenever someone asks, “What time is it?” at work and Christina and I both reply with:

Don’t forget to head over to the hosts’ blogs and check out the other linked up blogs.

Surftown Half Marathon Recap

I guess I should finally get around to recapping my third ever half marathon- the Surftown Half.

I signed up to do this race with my Running Mamas crew that I ran the Walt Disney World Half Marathon with. Not only did we all get together for this, but we dragged our husbands and kids along for the weekend, all piling into a beach house a whopping 1.4 miles away from the starting line. (Thanks Tiffany- and Bill- for offering up the house!) Four Mamas, 1 running dada (my husband), 3 non-running dadas, and 5 kiddos under the age of 5 made for an interesting weekend. Since nobody wants to read about the horrors of 2 of the kiddos vomiting in the car on the way in, or how to feed 5 kids with 5 different sets of eating weirdnesses, how many times one kid can beg for Wall-E while the another begs for Frozen, or exactly how much sand one pre-schooler can fit in his Jake and the Neverland Pirates underpants, I’ll just go ahead and skip to the race-related stuff. K?

The morning started way easier than a typical race morning because the race was soooo close. Not to mention, I was able to do packet pick-up for all of us on the day before (except Hannah, who had hers mailed- very cool option that I refused to use because I was sure I’d end up forgetting everything at home.)

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We also got a spiffy little Hartford Marathon Foundation mini-tote.

I made a terrible race-day mistake and skipped breakfast. Instead, I ate a chocolate Honey Stinger Waffle before leaving the house and regular one on the way to the start line. This was probably not the best of ideas. I peed twice in the morning, but failed to hit the portapotties right before lining up in the starting corrals. This, also, was probably not the best of ideas.

The corrals were divvied up by expected/desired finish time and you placed yourself where you wanted to be. Jay split off into the 2 hour, as did Tiffany and Hannah, I think. I really don’t know because Christina and I were hightailing it to somewhere between the 2:30 and 2:45 pacers. I always have 2 goals for any given race: My Pie-in-the-Sky goal that where I’d  be absolutely thrilled to finish at and my Feet-on-the-Ground goal that is my more realistic goal. My realistic goal for today was to finish faster than I did at Sleepy Hollow. That time was 2:42:22. I was pretty damned confident that I could beat that. My Pie-in-the-Sky was a sub-2:30 time. I’d have to keep my pace below 11:11 min/mile to do that, which I had not been able to do recently. Hopefully, this beautifully cool morning, I’d be back on my game running a faster pace.

For the first 6 miles, my 1:30/:30 run/walk interval worked wonderfully to keep me at a nice comfortable pace between 10:40 and 10:55 min/mile, including a few small hills that I didn’t walk up- proud of myself for that.

But then Not the Best of Ideas #2 reared its ugly head. I had to pee. Holding it was only going to slow me down over time. I knew I was maintaining a good enough pace that I should be able to stop and not kill my time, but every portapotty along the route had someone waiting in front of it. I had time to pee, not time for multiple people to pee. Luckily, the house we were staying at was along the race route, so somewhere in the sixth mile I paused my app, told Christina to keep going, and ran up the driveway, into the house, to use a real bathroom. Convenient, huh?

Not having my bladder dictate my pace, I was actually able to speed up for the next little bit. Mile 7 was actually a whole :30 faster than Mile 5. Then the course took us off the very flat beach and up into the village of Watch Hill. Emphasis on the “Hill.” I’m not going to go crazy bitching about the hills, because after Sleepy Hollow, this really wasn’t all that hilly, but it was just hilly enough to beat my pace down. To add insult to injury, Not the Best of Ideas #1 cropped up at precisely the same time as the hills did. All of a sudden I was feeling hungry- and not the kind of hungry that popping some Supercandy or a Gu pack from the many water stations would help. Belly wanted food. To try to quiet the growling, I drank more. Works when dieting- not while running.

I bonked big time. My energy dropped fast. My 1:30/:30 quickly changed to “Just make it to that blue mailbox, then walk”/”You are going to start running again when you get that shrub, got it?” My nice, even pace got all wibbly wobbly and I became really downhearted that my Pie-in-the-Sky goal that had been starting to look more and more realistic was just not going to happen.

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Then, somewhere around mile 11, a pep-talk in a black running skirt found me. Tiffany had already finished the half (1:53) and was running back to make up some distance for her marathon training. She ran with me for the rest of the way. I was trying to get back to my interval but I just didn’t have it in me, but whenever I would be walking too long, Tiffany would say something or I’d be thinking in my head that she was going to think I was the biggest loser for walking so much, so I’d start running. When I could see the finish line, I told Tiffany that I was going to walk until I got the finishing chute and then I’d sprint in, but she kept looking back at me like “why the hell aren’t you running” so I started running. I got a power up high five from a kid along the way and then started sprinting well before I planned.

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I look a LOT better than I felt.

And I just barely MISSED my Pie-in-the-Sky goal. Sigh.

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Official results

But I did more than smash my Feet-on-the-Ground goal by 12 minutes! And according to my phone app, (which paused for the pee break) I unofficially came in under 2:30. So YAY!!IMG_1293[1]

The medal is the same giant chunk of spiffiness no matter what time I dragged my butt across the finish line.

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Photo taken next to my well deserved Bahama Mama later that day.

We all headed back to the house to clean up with the idea of returning the carnival that went along with the race festivities. There would be rides and games for the kiddos and we’d all have a good time. Or maybe we’d all just kind of ice our calves in the cold ocean water and decide to hang out at the house and watch the kids play in the surf and the sand, instead.

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Why spend money at a carnival when THIS is literally in your backyard?

 

General Montgomery Day 8K

Two weeks ago, I was pretty pissy-pants about the Pumpkin Spice Latte coming out at Starbucks. It was fucking August for crying out loud! Why were we breaking out the fall flavors already? Wasn’t it bad enough that the Back To School sales were already taking over Target before the local summer camp even started?

Then summer became a douchecanoe and I welcome the crispy leaves and apple cinnamon scented or pumpkin flavored everything. Why? Because the nice, moderate summer we had been having decided to switch gears and turn the atmosphere into a broken-dryer-like environment. Anyone who’s had a broken dryer knows what I am talking about- everything gets really warm, but nothing dries ever. The last week+ has been nothing but 75°+, which ordinarily wouldn’t be all that bad, but add in the at least 78% humidity at ANY time during the day and it becomes a runner’s (or at least this runner’s) worst fucking nightmare. Give me AUTUMN!!!

And before anyone starts being like

Let it be known that I LIKE running in the cold. All the way down into the single digits. The snow doesn’t bother me. It’s awesome- I feel like I’m a Yeti and love the funny looks I get when people seeing me running during a blizzard. The only sucky thing about winter running I’ve found is when the sidewalk and streets are covered in 3 inches of slush. That’s just a plain old slip and fall hazard and I sure as hell don’t need to slipping and falling into oncoming traffic.

So why am I bitching about the weather in a post that should be a race recap? Because this race sucked giant donkey balls for me solely because of the evil weather pattern that settled on my area for the time leading up to and including the United Way of Dutchess-Orange Region General Montgomery Day 8K.

In the week leading up to Saturday’s race, I ran ONCE. That’s it. One 11 mile long run on Monday morning that kicked my butt to the point that I thought I was going to vomit, pass out, or both while driving home from the Rail Trail and for at least an hour afterwards. When I headed out, the weather was beautiful-  low 70’s and mostly sunny. Halfway through, all the water that had ever been on this planet decided that it would be really great to just sit in the air in front of my face. According to the weather section on my running app, it was 100% friggin’ humidity! I didn’t too well in Earth Science (only science I ever got less that an A in during high school- I got an A-), but doesn’t that mean it pretty much should be raining?!

That’s how the weather was for the rest of the week. I had a hard time breathing just walking between buildings at work, let alone trying to go out to run- so I didn’t. I just used all my energy in hoping against hope that it would clear up for the 8K.

It didn’t. The forecast called for mid- to upper 80’s and 90+% humidity. Fabulous.

Jay and I went to the packet pickup on Friday night and got our swag.

The United Way gave us sunscreen (which I, of course, failed to use,) ShopRite provide water and a magnet, UNFI gave us refrigerator clips and pens. The race tee was long sleeve cotton- I doubted anyone would wear this for the race. ShopRite,other local businesses and Road ID tossed in coupons and such, as well. Pretty nice for a little local race.

I hydrated like crazy in preparation for this race. I spent more time in the ladies’ room than in the lab at work that week. That morning, I drank a whole bottle of water before even getting to race location (10 minutes from home.) Once we got there, I started sipping on my handheld hydration bottle loaded with Nuun Strawberry Lemonade. I was sweating just standing at the trunk of our car getting my sneakers on, so I knew I would need all the water I could get to get through this.

UNFI, a company new to the area, must have been trying to get on people’s good sides, because they were handing out full sized cartons of Harvest Bay Coconut Water to the runners and walkers. I chugged one of those back before the race started. It was delicious and I started to feel less mucky.

We lined up at the start line and the announcer kicked it off. I started off really well. My first mile was done in 10:12. It was all downhill from there (figuratively- actually it was a fairly hilly course.) The temperature rose and my energy fell. My second mile took 11:05. I couldn’t breathe. My inhaler did nothing for me.  Mile 3 was 11:46. I was overheating and feeling nauseous almost the whole time. At all 3 water stations, I dumped my cup of water over my head. I had a goal of finishing this thing in 55 minutes. That was gone. My new goal was to be under an hour.

By the last mile, I was so beaten down and pouring sweat that my new goal was to just not have to be pulled off the course by an EMT- mostly because, being a local race, I knew a lot of the first responders and didn’t want them seeing me all dead and stuff. There were EMTs and police officers all over that course- it was nice to know that they were there if I really did need them.

It took everything I had to get to the end of that race. Nothing was left in the tank. My official time was 56:37.

The finish line was manned by volunteers with water from ShopRite and Propel Fitness Water.  And the supermarket was also handing out the bananas and such. The local ShopRite is always there at community events- cookies for the kids’ Easter Egg hunts, burgers at Maybrook day, and they are always there for our VFW and youth athletics.

It was a really nicely done event and I know I would have really enjoyed it had I not been such a mess from my poor performance. I also would have enjoyed the after-race offerings better had I not had to immediately get ready for the parade that me and the X-man had to march in. That will be another post, I’m sure.

I’m hoping that things will be cooler and less muggy for this Sunday’s Surftown Half

Wonder Mom Wednesday: The Hiding of the Veggies

One of the blogs that I follow, This Mama Runs for Cupcakes, has teamed up with Mom Who Tris and Mom Swim Bike Run to host a blog link-up called Wonder Mom Wednesday. They invited anyone to link up. I figured, “Why not?”

WonderMomWedfinal

This Week’s Topic: Sneaky Recipes

My friend’s almost two year old eats broccoli. He can eat entire meals of just broccoli. I am way jealous of her. As I have mentioned quite a few times along this journey of mommyhood, X is a picky eater. Fruits and vegetables are nowhere on his radar of things he likes to eat. I have tried many things along the way to get him to eat food that does not come in nugget form. I’ve also tried putting the good food into nugget form- like the broccoli-cheese bites that Cupcakes uses- but to no avail. He can tell the difference between a cauliflower ‘tater tot’ and the real deal no matter how perfectly formed they are. He rejects the smoothie trickery that Mom Swim Bike Run employs and won’t even drink one of those PediaSure shakes that the commercials insisted he’d love.

The Mom Who TRI’s is on to something with those muffins of hers, although the zucchini is far too visible in her rendition to pass X’s Veggie Detecting Hyper-Vision. I’ll try making them, but I’ll have to make sure every speck of zucchini skin is gone. I’ve used similar chicanery before.

Dabbit Dodos (AKA Carrot Donuts)

Carrot Donuts

not so carroty, but better than nothing as far as I’m concerned.

Zucchini Brownies

Zucchini Brownies

plenty of veg in there and no visible green stuff!

I’ve also had luck getting him to eat extra fruit and protein via muffins I’ve called Dog Biscuits and eating lentils in cookie form.

There are some non-tricksy ways of feeding X. He gets Fruitables juice in his cup. Almost all pasta in our home has been replaced with Garden Delight pasta. And he’s pretty open to veggie chips like Terra Chips and what comes in our monthly NatureBox. But for the most part, feeding vegetables to the X-Man involves putting them into the food processor until they are unrecognizable and then blending it in with some form of meat or cheese substance. Mini-meatloaves, cheeseburgers, ravioli.. nothing is sacred. All have ended up with at least minced up box of frozen peas and carrots in it.

Asian Turkey Meatballs

Asian Turkey Meatballs

with much of the meat replaced with whatever veggies were in the crisper or freezer.

Pinterest is a gold mine. Click for the pins to the recipes.

Spicy Roasted Vegetable Macaroni and Cheese

Spicy Roasted Vegetable Macaroni and Cheese This one only works if the vegetables are truly minced up and there is enough cheese to mute the bright colors of healthiness.

 

Cauli-power Fettuccini

Cauliflower-based mock alfredo – Again, cheese fixes everything

 

Is this anyway to teach the kid that vegetables are delicious part of his diet? No. He still insists he doesn’t like green beans, even though 65% of his cheeseburger came from Green Giant. But it should hold off the rickets and pellagra until his taste buds evolve a little.

Don’t forget to head over to the hosts’ blogs and check out the other linked up blogs. The more sneaky recipes the better!

 

Practice for the End of the World – A Zombie Run Recap

6 AM Saturday Morning. I was up and ready for the day’s Zombie Run.  I had been looking forward to doing a zombie run for a long time. The hubs and I are ever so slightly extremely obsessed with zombies. We joke that we run and do OCRs as practice for the coming zombie pandemic. A zombie run was going to be an ultimate test. The problem: I was 99% sure that if Jay- being a little TOO trained as a ninja- was attacked by a pretend zombie, he might not-so-pretend decapitate the poor volunteer. I was torn about registering us.

Then a friend, Phil, asked if we wanted to head down to Skirmish USA (where Savage Race had been held) to run The Zombie Run for his birthday. Mud Run Guide had a discount code for the thing and it was pretty cheap to begin with so why the hell not?

So anyway, back to 6AM. Jay and I were totally thrown off of our race-day schedule because this run didn’t actually start until 3PM. Jay was like a little kid waiting for something really special.

Jay at 9:45AM: “Can we leave now?”

Me: “No, we told my mom we’d drop the kid off at 10:30/11.”

Jay at 9:46AM: “How about now?”

Me: “No, we told my mom we’d drop the kid off at 10:30/11.”

Jay at 9:48AM: “How about now?”

Me: “ARRGHH” And I went and hid somewhere with my iPad until it was actually time to go.
We got to he venue by 1:45ish. It was completely decorated with blood spatter and tombstones- a Halloween lover’s paradise.  We checked in and received our swag- a drawstring bag and a tee shirt- and our gear- bib, belt, and 3 flags.

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The flags were our ‘lives.’ Extra lives were available for a $10 donation to the Kennedy Krieger Institute for kids dealing with brain injuries/disorders.
We milled around the ‘secure zone’ that was less than secure against the undead. There were tons of zombies wandering around and they looked amazing.

From the Zombie Run’s FB page

We even got a pic with the most awesome abominations ever created by the Umbrella Corporation.

That big guy would later make me sprint the fastest I’ve ever moved ever.

By 2:30 the zeds were all sent out onto the course. At 3PM, the living began to be chosen to begin the 3 mile journey from one safe zone to another through zombie-infested territory. We were put into a shipping container, which was way too reminiscent of the end of the last season of The Walking Dead.

We rushed out into a camouflaged area to receive instruction from the guy in charge of this post-apocalyptic outpost. While being briefed on the situation we were all attacked from behind by a small horde of zombies. I didn’t actually see them, but I knew they were there from the screams of “Oh SHIT!” from everyone behind me. I ran like a little bunny rabbit until I couldn’t run anymore. Then when I slowed down, I realized that the entire field I was running toward was overrun with the infected. As I bolted, a zom-bitch took my first flag. There were others around her, so I tried to dart to the side to clear them and ended up getting tripped my some long grass and diving hands and knee first into the ground.

Damned grass made me bleed my own blood

Damned grass made me bleed my own blood

By some miracle, the zoms didn’t pounce on me. I guess they were distracted by the dozen other people trying to pass. I scrambled back to my feet and headed to the next safe-ish spot.

This was going to become the pattern for most of the 3 mile run. Run from zombies, walk or run cautiously through the woods, dodge zombies, run for dear life from zombies, repeat. In one of those repeats I lost another flag.

I think this was the only real obstacle (besides the zombies) on the entire course.

That’s me in the green socks almost at the top of the wall.

There was also a cargo/fish net type dealie that you had to crawl under. At the end of that crawl, there was the reanimated corpse of a Tough Mudder casualty (he’s in the top zombie picture in the blue shirt and signature orange headband.) They do not bill this race as an obstacle or mud run, so I can’t complain.

There was also an optional rope climb. Ringing the bell at the top earned you an extra life flag. I suck epically at rope climbs, but I waited at the bottom of the sole knotted rope in hope that maybe the threat of crossing the finish line infected would help me up. The woman ahead of me on the rope then started climbing up the structure holding the ropes in the air. She dinged the bell and was given an extra life.  The dude with the flags said I could do it, too. So I grabbed the rope, failed at climbing it the right way, and the went all King Kong on that scaffolding.

And then I couldn’t reach the stupid bell. I yelled “DING DING” and climbed back down to collect my extra life.

We ran through the castle that we ran through at the Savage Race, only this time it was completely infested. I managed to elude most of the zombies. Until I almost ran into the red and black tutu-ed zombess. She was eyeing my flags and I was eyeing the escape route behind her. I faked to one side and then darted around her the other way, barely escaping with my remaining flags.

We came to the end of 3 miles and knew there’d be some zeds to pass to get the finish. We did not realize just how many, though. That big white tunnel was hiding at least a dozen walkers. The large group that I ended up in decided just go at it in a V formation that quickly disintegrated into everyone just scattering like cockroaches. It was CRAZY and I lost my last original flag somewhere in there. Thankfully, I still had my extra life flag. But then there was another barrage of zombies between the tunnel and the end of the run. They were everywhere, so my only option was to just bolt straight through and hold my arm down to protect my last flag. I barreled by this one zombie-dude that looked like he was going to grab my flag, but at the very last second, he snapped my sport bra strap instead. I yelled, “What the FUCK!!” and then quickly apologized to all the spectating kids and their frowning mothers before continuing to sprint because, um, ZOMBIES!!!

We sprinted together through the rings of fire signifying that we had made it to a safe haven, free of infection. It only took us about 41 minutes (untimed event, going by Jay’s watch.)
Survivor medals and shandies for all!!

Well, at least for all in my group of me, Jay, Phil, and Derek. Many other people were not as lucky. Having crossed the finish line flag-less, they received the red Infected medal. They still got the shandy, though, so I guess being undead isn’t all bad.

Wonder Mom Wednesday Link Up: Reasons why I (sorta) exercise

One of the blogs that I follow, This Mama Runs for Cupcakes, has teamed up with Mom Who Tris and Mom Swim Bike Run to host a blog link-up called Wonder Mom Wednesday. They invited anyone to link up. I figured, “Why not?”

This week’s topic: Reasons WHY I exercise

This week’s topic seemed to fit with something my parents were saying over the weekend. They were mentioning how it used to be that they couldn’t get me to go outside and now I’m out there all the time running. I think this conversation occurred after my dad pointed out that the hotel we were staying at had a treadmill and I poo-pooed the idea of running on that vile thing if I didn’t have to (and anyway I had already rearranged my run plan for the week so that I had gotten my long run in the day before and didn’t have to run again until I was back at home.)

So why, after 20+ years of being a devout couch-potato (minus 2 years of being a soccer bench-warmer in junior high), did I start exercising?

Well, there was this guy…

No, seriously! Jay and I met at work way back when and there was a gym a block away from the lab. He was all into fitness and wanted to train me. When a built, blue-eyed scientist says, “hey, you wanna come work out with me?”,  you say YES.

It’s just one of those easy answers.

So I became a sorta gym rat for a while, but after changing jobs and moving, the whole “working out” thing wasn’t working out. I was in an on-again/off-again relationship with the gym, Les Mills classes, and Muay Thai classes for a few years. Then I went on meds that made me bruise at the drop of a hat and pulled back from the martial arts for fear of turning into a giant hematoma. After the meds, I wound up getting pregnant. I could have been that bitch who hits the gym right up until her water breaks- but I wasn’t. Adios gym membership!

Then I was 28 and holding on to pounds that needed to get the heck off my belly. I became involved in mud runs and OCRs because they looked fun and I could be sorta exercising but not really since obviously the gym can’t hold my attention. And it all just escalated from there. I needed to hit the gym more often so that carrying that sandbag up the mountain wouldn’t be so bad. So I did. Then I had to start running because there are only so many times you can be at the bottom of the race results list and not start feeling like a lump. (I’ve moved my way up to the top half of the list!)

So now I’m nearly 32 and I’m still keeping up with the running thing. The gym I’m hit or miss on. Time and trying to balance my running, Jay’s tri training, and being a mom keeps screwing with my ability to make it to my  BodyPump or BodyCombat classes (which are the only way that the gym is bearable for me.) I keep it up because:

  1. I’m a medal-whore. I adore that if there was an earthquake in the Hudson Valley, my house would jingle like Santa Claus was coming to town.

    Can’t wait to make 2014’s display!

  2. I like to eat bad food. Cupcakes, cheeseburger, cookies, greasy fried things with cheese… If I were to stop running/exercising, I’d probably pack on 30lbs within a month.

    Why doesn’t this come as a running tank and why don’t I own it?

  3. I like to drink. As a good Italian (and someone who has to fight traffic 2.5 hours each day), a glass of wine a night is pretty much mandatory. Those 200 calories have to go somewhere other than my already large thighs.
  4. I don’t want my kid to be fat. There are too many reasons why X could end up chubby- less recess/PE when he goes to school, video games and computer stuff making him sedentary, the fact that we stop for McDonalds way more often then we should. I want to set an example of activity for him. If mommy and daddy run, maybe he’ll want to (and he does!)
  5. I don’t want to be zombie-chow. Sure, actual brain-eating zombies may not ever actually be chasing me down, but you never know. This Girl Scout sticks by the “Be Prepared” motto.
  6. I don’t want to live with or die because of chronic/debilitating health issues. Diabetes is in my family. Heart issues are in my family. Stroke is in my family. I’ll do what I can to keep those things from happening to me ( and if I can do it without sacrificing the cheeseburgers, all the better :) )

So there’s the how and why I wake up early and go for 9.82 mile run before sitting in the car for 5 hours all so that I won’t have to run on a hotel treadmill.

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