Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Old School Comfort

Well, it caught me.  I refuse to say that I caught a cold because....well, I was chasing something else (more like a marathon PR!) but the dreaded plague of head stuffs, congestion, and general light headed miserable-ness has descended upon me.  Yuck.  I've been low functioning since Monday morning (hold that snark) and have basically shuffled through the last 48 hours in a daze.  Bless the fact that the insanity of work is nearly behind me (just a few more weeks, and nowhere near as nuts!) and that, with tri season over, my only real workouts are my runs, which are only 3-4x a week.  So I haven't run since Saturday, which is no big deal.  I've been trying to rest, load up on Earl Gray, and...soup.  Not usually a homemade soup kinda girl, but I had a craving for some good ole tomato soup and grilled cheese comfort food, and with 3 large, gorgeous tomatoes sitting on my counter and a pot full of fresh basil....well, Campbell's was sacrilege. So we made soup

Fresh Tomato Basil Soup

3 large tomatoes, diced (4 cups)
1 small onion, diced
2 cups chicken stock
1 tbsp fresh basil, minced
1 tbsp garlic salt
1 tbsp sugar (optional)

Another so easy I feel ridiculous writing it.  Add the onion and tomatoes to the chicken stock, bring to a boil.  Simmer on low for 20 minutes, adding in spices.  If desired (I didn't) let cool and whirl in an immersion blender.  Serves 2, with freshly made grilled cheese on the side.

Enjoyed best on a TV tray, on the couch, while watching the soaps.  Or the Price is Right.  Or the Wonder Years.  And for a split second, you are 8 years old, playing hooky from school, and Mom will be over in a few minutes to bring you some ice cream.  And it's all better :-)

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

The Big EZ

Hello, all!  Welcome to fall.  It's a gorgeous day in New York - bright, sunny and 70 degrees.  Perfect.  I could go on and on about the best season here.....sweaters, bright colors in the leaf changes, perfect running weather, excellent in season food (squash, pumpkin, apples, YUM), Halloween.....and my birthday :-)  What's not to love?  I have a pretty busy and fun fall planned - marathon training....I swear I will chat about this...I'm in week 6 of a 12 week plan right now.  It has it's ups and downs, but we will see what I can accomplish.

But today, I want to go far away.  Last week, I had the opportunity to travel to New Orleans for work - we were presenting at a national conference, and my boss was awesome enough to allow Greg and Rob to come along with me for the cost of the flight and food.  Sweet.  So, last Tuesday, we embarked on a journey...Robs first out of state and on a plane!  For a 5 day trip to NOLA.  It was amazing. .....

 On a plane for the first time - so excited by the windows!!

 Chillin at a layover....first with shades and then flyin his own plane!!

At the hotel....SOMEONE'S gotta get the work done!
Our hotel - Royal Sonesta.  Right on Bourbon St. in the heart of the city!
Fine NOLA cuisine....HAH.  This is a liquid city :-)

Muffaletta at Central Grocery - a NOLA staple.
Cafe Dumond - we feasted on french chicory and beignets.  YUM.
St. Louis Cathedral at Jackson Square - just gorgeous.
By no means inclusive, but the whole city was just amazing.  Friendly, delicious, and BUSY.  Rob never got tired of checking out all of the amazing sights, and we had a nice balance of work and family time.  Rob had a BLAST in the pool, and was just the perfect little traveler.  Bodes well for our next adventure to OBX :-)  If you haven't gone to NOLA, I would highly recommend!  But only for a week.  Your stomach and liver can't handle more :-P

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Wrapping up 2014 Tri Season - Finger Lakes 2014

So, tri season is now over.  My first season as a Momma, a MIM (yeah, those kinda go togetehr!) was pretty awesome.  I didn't set any new PR's, but I cam awfully close a few times, and with a full time job, a full time kid, and some...ok...most....less than stellar sleeping night (hey, he rocks at everything else!) I couldn't be happier.  I placed in half of the tri's I entered, and landed in the top 10% of women for three quarters of them.  I think I would consider it a success.  It's now onto fall marathon training (more on that in a bit) but now, for one last recap of a 2014 tri.....Finger Lakes!

I've done this tri twice in the past, but not since 2007.  Kinda strange to think....last time I raced FL, I wasn't a mom, wasn't married, wasn't even engaged!  Wow.  Greg and I took a little trip down memory lane thinking about that.....we usually bypass this race because it's quite pricey, but with a wonderful family offer to babysit right in Canandaigua, we couldnt pass it up.  The course has changed quite a bit since we've done it, but it's basically an easy swim, a challenging bike, and a flas, fast run.  I had aspirations to hit a new PR (under 2:50) and was excited to race.

Pre race morning was a massive cluster you know what.  Greg almost forgot his helmet, I found a hole in my tire (god bless Towpath for hooking me up!) and I completely forgot to eat my breakfast in the midst of it, leading to a last minute swallow of some pb and bread.  (not optimal race nutrition!)  Since I wasn't familiar with the new course, I listened to the pre race briefing....now a quarter mile run on a pebble path to T1 (awesome) and a new bike mount (more on that later).  Ah, well.  No use in getting in a snit about little things.

Swim (34:01, including .25 run to T1).  My swim sucked.  It felt good, but my sighting was truly awful.  The swim is set up in a long rectangle, and the whole time I felt like I was swimming alone.  Story of my life....faster than the average woman and slower than the good ones.  Could be worse :-P  My buddy with a garmin clocked the swim at 1.1 miles, and I was out of the water in 31:27 so with my complete lack of swim training, I felt ok about it.

Bike - 1:22, 18.2 avg. - Running out of T1, I realized that there was a 1000 yard run...in bike shoes....to the bike mount.  Why they did this, I have no idea.  But apparently it all counted toward your bike split (1000 yards out to bike, 1000 yards back from bike.  WTF.  This probably pissed me off more than it should, but running in bike shoes sucks.  Other than that, I don;t have much to say about the bike.  I leapfrogged with a bunch of men, saw 2 women (passed one, one passed me) and forgot how hilly Canandaigua was (and then remembered.  Again and Again :-P)  I wasn't happy with my bike, but I wasn't unhappy either.  There are a few great downhills but they all end in a sharp turn, which makes them pretty much a moot point.  The first 10 miles of the course were pretty much all uphill, then some give back afterwards.  All in all, I think I could have pushed harder, but I suppose that's a goal for next year.

Run - 53:22, 8:36 avg.  As I got out of T2, I heard the race announcer announce my husband coming in.  This was a great surprise - since I did the Olympic and he did the Sprint race, he started :55 minutes after me.  I had no idea what kind of race he was having, and with the different distances, it was truly kismet that we connected.  With that said, I had no issue being his rabbit, but I'll be damned if I was going to make catching me easy - I jetted out of T2 and onto the run.  The run is two loops and pretty flat.  I've been running without socks lately, and also without yanks (they make my feet go numb).  I felt pretty strong the whole run....two shoe unties (I tied them once, the second time I was .5 miles from the finish and said eff it.)  Greg nearly caught me (woot woot) and as I started lap 2 and he finished. the race announcer mistakenly thought he caught me, which gave me a laugh when I most needed it.  I played catch with a few guys on loop two, got pissed off at the number of people wearing headphones (seriously, wtf??) and passed 4 people in the last quarter mile stretch, which made me feel awesome.  No pics because we had no race photogs and honestly the official race pictures make me wanna kill myself :-P

Race time - 2:54:xx, 4th AG, 16th overall woman.

I felt pretty decent about it.  Bummed I didn't place, but 3rd place was over 2 minutes faster than me and I must have been in the speedy AG because I would have placed in any other group (yep, I'm obsessive).  Greg and I grabbed some grub, chatted up some friends, and chalked it up to a race we did our best in, a beautiful morning, and a success to 2014.  I can;t say I'll run this race again....a few things really turned me off to the execution, and spending 8 minutes in "transition" is just ridiculous, but now I know. Can't wait for some new races and fun in 2015!!

And now...it's go time.  OBX 2014.  I smell a 3:xx in my future....and now I've made that public.  No excuses :-P

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Want "To Dos"

Hello there and happy "back to school time"!  I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday weekend and enjoying the last bits of summer.  It's been warm, sunny and overall gorgeous here in NY and I was lucky enough to have a super long weekend.  Now that I'm back to the grindstone (September is a NUTS month for us at work and race and training wise) I thought I would relive my mini "stay cation" a bit.  I was lucky enough to have a bit of time off last week, and with that knowledge, I crammed a huge "to do" list together in the hopes that everything I never seem to get to could get...done.  In one day.  HAH.  I ran around like a crazy person for the first 6 hours of the day, then, after my run (cause one must run 17 miles on their day off, right?) I stopped for a sec.  And tore the list up.  And then....for a little glorious bit...with my husband and kiddo- this past weekend, we focused on our "Want to dos".

We napped.
We played with some old toys.  Rob helped put away some baby things, and we had some laughs as he tried to sit in his swing and play tummy time.  Greg pulled out his x box for the first time in forever.  And I...read a real book.  Not a kindle book, not a work book.  Woohoo.
We had some delicious eats!  Ice cream.  Fudgies.  Homemade pasta.  A cookout with our family.  We made a mess.  And we just didn't care (Then mommy cleaned it up.  cause....I'm OCD like that :-P)
We went in the water!!  In the backyard, with our water table.  In the kiddie pool.  At Canandaigua Lake (where we lost-and then, phew! found Daddy's wedding ring).  It was a gorgeous summer weekend, begging for some beach time (and of course, open water swimming.  lol.  You know us too well).

The laundry is undone.  The floors still need steaming.  My coupons lay in a pile, uncut, and I'm pretty sure my facebook and twitter feed are prehistoric by now.  Meh, who cares?  Life is too short.  Sometimes you gotta toss that to do list and just pull out the wanna list :-)

Monday, August 25, 2014

Sodus Point Tri 2014 - Our 10 year anniversary!

Ugh, I know I know - I've heard about my blog slacking lately, but I have some time this week so hopefully I can redeem myself to everyone :-)  First up - Race report from Sodus....two weeks ago (hides under chair).  ***
Wow, 10 years??  You got that right.  10 years ago, Greg and I popped our tri cherry....at Sodus Point sprint tri (.5 mile swim, 13 mile bike, 5k run).  We've done every race here since 2005 (they started in 2004, so we just missed the inaugural race) and with 225 race entrants each year...its pretty safe to say we are 2 of about 5 people who can claim this.  Yes, that excited me....I know, I know :-)  This race has seen me through some crazy life transitions (see what I did there?)....first tri ever with my new boyfriend....first tri as a married lady (still hold my sprint PR from that year!)  first tri as an Ironman (3 weeks post Placid, yowtch) and first tri as a mommy!  (5 weeks post partum....did I mention I am nuts?).  We adore this race.  It's close, the course is just tricky enough to have fun with, and we love to return each year remembering our first race (the year of the 3 foot waves.....I cant believe we ever came back!!)

My men :-)
On with it, Rae.  So this year, Greg was angling for some speed, and I was just trying to give it my all with an endurance and no speed base.  I've gotten lucky enough to place in my age group for the past 6 years, but since you can never tell who will show up for a tri, this was a hope and not a goal.  Pre race, we ate breakfast (applesauce n oats), drove down to the point, and set up our transition (which we can do in our sleep at this point!)  We played with Rob in the sand until Gramma and Uncle Alan got there to watch him, then hopped into the lake for a quick warm up.

Swim - 13:26, plus :50 run to TI (up the beach).  Lake Ontario is a fickle lake.  Our first year, we had 3 foot swells and they pulled 1/3 of the people out of the water (I survived by doggy paddling, yay!).  Other years, it is clear as glass...and 55 degrees.  Today we lucked out.  Other than a quick detour off course at buoy turn 2 and some pre race jostling (totally normal), the swim felt great.  After the Musselman debacle, I was so glad to have an easy swim!  I exited out of the water at 13 minutes n change, which is pretty good for a half mile swim for me!

T1-  Usually I don't report on this one.  But....as I pulled on my bike gear (which...Ive done at least 60 times in a reace, thankyouverymuch) I started to run out of transition and heard...."Rae Glaser, your helmet is on backwards...." over the PA.  Aww WTF.  Greg and I know these Rds super well, so of course he was gonna rib me on it...and tell me husband and everyone else in the vincinity when he came into T1.  I'm a moron....but it was pretty funny!  Just outta T1 I fixed it, and somewhat flustered, got on my bike and took off....one of my clumsier bike starts for sure!!

Bike:  41:15 (19.0 mph).  I know this course like the back of my hand.  The start has some rollers and theres a few time it right let r rips, and I played them well.  I wasted a good minute at the start with my *&^%!# helmet, but overall the bike felt good.  I need to hammer the downhills a bit more and lean into aero more, and I think I can really go over 20 next year on this one.

POst race 2013...5 weeks old!
Run:  I headed out of T2 and into the run...saw kiddo and Uncle Alan playing and broke out into the biggest smile.  I might not be Meb fast, but I love the run the best and was looking forward to picking off a few female competitors.  I had no idea where I was in ranking, but knew if i could pull an 8 minute mile out of my hat, I might PR (spoiler alert- my math sucked.  I needed some 7 minute miles in there and they didnt happen :-))  I ended up leap frogging with one woman on the two looped course, passed a few other women, and felt good the whole time.  I dont have massive speed, but it seems as if 8:15 miles are the super comfy pace.  I can work on that.  I turned on the gas and sprinted into the fishin for a run time of 25:40 (8:18 pace).

Post race 2014....big boy!!!
Post race I snuggled my kiddo, grabbed some water and a few cookies, and caught up with friends.  My mom told me she only saw 4 women ahead of me before she turned her head for 4-5 minutes (can someone explain to her that thats a pretty big deal in a sprint lol) but she wasn't too far off- I came in 6th OA for women, 2nd in my AG (they only do overall women and 2nd OA came in at 1:13 and was in my AG).  My time was 1:23:xx and while it's no PR, its within 2 minutes of a PR and I'll take it!!  I grabbed my award, celebrated with Greg who DID set a new shiny PR of 1:22, and we hit the beach for some swimmies with Rob.  Perfect race, perfect day. 

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

In a pickle

Hey hey!!  Life update....short n sweet.....The new kitto-s are doing amazing (pics to come - they have a new cat castle and can jump 8 feet high, I swear!), Rob's learned the word "No" (ruh roh) and is doing pretty well except for a lil ole virus hats come to stay this week (aww) and Greg and I raced Sodus Point last weekend for the 10th year in a row (yikes!) Race report coming later this week. 

Today's post is short n simple....with the gorgeous NY weather this spring and summer, I've found myself with the wonderful produce problem....TOO MUCH!  I'm great with the fruit and most veggies- we freeze em, Rob eats 'em....oh right, he eats ALL of them.  Except one.  Cucumbers.  I don't know if it's a texture thing or a seed thing, but he's a little bit wary of them (seeing as the kid eats broccoli, beans and plain tofu, I feel that exploring the lack of love for this veggie is just not worth my time, ha).  But.  One can only eat so many salads.  Or tuna salads.  Or water infusions.  So....what to do with my bumper crop o cukes?  Duh, Rae...make pickles!!!

Day #1
So Easy Refrigerator Pickles

1 large cuke, sliced your way (I like spears)
1.5 cups water
1 cup vinegar
1 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp each dill, coriander, and garlic salt
5 cloves fresh garlic

Why I buy pickles, I don't know.  This was stupid easy.  Dice the cuke, add to a mason jar with a tight fitting lid.  Add in dill, coriander, and garlic salt, shake well.  In a medium sauce pan, add water, vinegar and sugar.  Bring to a boil and then remove from heat, let sit until cool.  Completely submerge the cukes and leave out to ferment for at least 3 days.  When fermented to your desire, place in the fridge, where they keep for up to a month (but....ours were gone 48 hours later.  And I got one pickle.  yeesh).  So what's a girl to do?  Start batches in shifts!!

Day #2
Batches 1 and 2, respectively
Super easy, super crunchy and deeelish!  (I think.  Hopefully I'll get some outta the next batch :-))  With a hint of sweet and just enough spice, these pickles are great on sandwiches, diced in salads, and straight outta the fridge munches.  Enjoy!

Monday, August 4, 2014

Cats outta the bag!

So.....you knew we would

And we did.  Get a new addition.

Too soon?   I don't know.  I'm a cat person.  I love em and have room in my heart and home for a new fur baby.  He does not replace in any way the Summeroo, but the house is....too quiet.  And we are ready to love our new fur child.  I had the thought of going to rescue a non kitten at Lollypop (kittens go to good homes ASAP, cats, not always).  And then....my dream kitteh happened.

Meet Meb. (Yes, as in Keflizhigi).  He is a 17 month old F5 generation Pure bread Bengal cat.  Love love love.  I have always wanted one of these babies, and the opportunity presented itself in a strange and wonderful way that I got my baby!  Handsome boy.....

 But.....what man can live alone (har).  So....meet Mirinda (yes, Greg and I are obsessed.  I named Meb and he named Mirinda).  She is also an F5 purebred Bengal. Beauty times a million!

And clearly quite a ham!!  We got these babies over the weekend (Rinny is also 17 months) and are now in the process of learning all about Bengals - raw, grain free diet, characteristics including taking a bath....going for walks...and 8 feet jumps! And could not be happier.  The kitt-os are adjusting to their new home beautifully and are even tolerant of Rob (mostly Meb).  We have a full house and it's the way it should be :-)