Saturday, November 28, 2009

Ups and Downs: Week in Review

Last week ended with some sad news. M's uncle passed away suddenly from a heart attack. We made the solemn trek up to NY to attend the funeral. M's dad passed when he was very young, so he was especially close to this uncle. He'll be greatly missed.

From NY, we continued on with M. He met up with the crew and started his 3-day trip as planned. This trip couldn't have come at a better time to refresh our spirits.

M never gets overnights like this one. We had a full day on the beach and a nice dinner out. M got to surf fish in the morning, and I got to run on the beach. We had a nice brunch at the hotel before leaving.

The transportation company sent a white stretch limo to pick up the crew at the hotel (all the vans were being used to shuttle cruise ship passengers). We're talking senior prom style. It was funny at first, but they were embarrassed to roll up to the airport in it. Two pilots getting out of a stretch limo...totally against the image they want to be portraying to the public.

Did I mention he never gets overnights like this?

My parents came to Atlanta for Thanksgiving. They came last year too, but this was our first time hosting a true Thanksgiving at home. Not in an apartment, not in a crash pad. In our house. I got to break out the dishes, utensils, etc. that we received as wedding gifts, but never had a reason to unpack.

As grown up as that made me feel, I still let my mom run the show in the kitchen. The turkey intimidates me. However at my suggestion we did try something new, and followed Alton Brown's Roast Turkey recipe to brine and roast the turkey. It was so good, we'll definitely be doing it again next year.

Last but not least, my procedure was a no-go. After spending 2 hours in pre-op hooked to an IV, it was cancelled at the last minute. I'm still very upset, so that's all I've got to say about it for now. I just want to get this over with already. My doctor said the stone's location makes it unlikely that it'll pass on it's own. It sure as hell better not. I'm still waiting to hear from the doctor on a new surgery date.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Training Status - Mid November

There’s nothing I’m specifically training for at the moment, but I want to continue improving my fitness for the 10K and half marathon distances. There’s a half marathon within driving distance at the end of January that looks interesting. We’ll see if that works out with M’s schedule, but I’m not going to any great lengths to make it happen. I also want to give the Georgia ING Half Marathon a try this spring, and will make that more of a priority (did the full Miami ING a few years ago and really liked the organization of it). I’ll continue to check for local races that I can run with the jogging stroller, but those opportunities are few and far between.


I’m going at it a little harder this week, since next week is going to be a wash. My lithotripsy procedure is scheduled for Tuesday. I had the pre-op appointment on Friday, and I’m a little nervous now. I assumed lithotripsy was a no-biggie procedure, but I’ll need to be intubated and given general anesthesia. Kinda freaks me out, but the recovery is supposed to be really easy from what I’m told. Since my parents are going to be in town for Thanksgiving, I’m going to cut myself some slack and not worry about working out for the week.


I already ran 8 miles with the jogging stroller on both Saturday and Sunday in anticipation of the rain forecasted for this week. Shorter days also mean less time I can safely run outside with the jogging stroller on week nights. Do ya'll find the time change a to be a pain too?


I borrowed some P90X DVDs from a co-worker so I'm going to try one of them out Thursday...not sure which one yet. The plyometrics look intense.


Monday: 4 miles w/ stroller, 35 mins elliptical

Tuesday: 5 miles (8:00/mi pace) 25 mins elliptical, push-ups, chair dips

Wednesday: 7 mi run or 70 mins elliptical

Thursday: P90X DVD

Friday: off

Saturday: run? maybe 6-7 miles

Sunday: 8 mi run along the beach J

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Changes In Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes

I’ve noticed a marked shift in M’s attitude over the past month. As I discussed in an earlier post, he spent most of the summer stewing over the state of the airline industry and the lack of upward movement. I can tell he’s come around to fully appreciate the fact that he HAS A SEAT, and it’s with a company that treats him well (relatively speaking by industry standards). Not that he didn’t before appreciate it before, but I think it has really sunk in how fortunate he is. More of his buddies at different companies are hitting the streets with each round of furloughs.

We also have a new view on his flight school loan. Each month when that payment clears, we feel vindicated in our decision for him to train where he did. With the way the economy is, if he went the mom and pop route the only letters he’d have after his name right now would be CFI. Especially now that HR 3371 may go into law, it makes all the difference that he started building hours on a full-time basis when he did. You want to be on the right side of that line.

M’s also learning to stay away from the pilot forums. They’re toxic. The rumors and negative attitude rub off on him. I can always tell when he’s spent some time reading them by his mood. Have any other pilot wives else noticed that?

It helps that the routes get much better in the winter too. As long as a training captain doesn’t snake the trip, E and are joining him on his 2 long overnights in Florida this weekend. Hotels on A1A baby. Sure beats 36 hours in Peoria.

Time to say cheers with a glass half full.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Candied Ginger Cookies

If you're looking for a new recipe to try this holiday season, this is it. These cookies are awesome. Very buttery with a touch of spice. They don't taste anything like a ginger bread cookie if that's what you're imagining.

This isn't a recipe I would normally seek out. I'm a chocolate chip cookie gal all the way. However, I still had candied ginger in the pantry from my morning sickness phase (it didn't help), and some fresh ginger root left over from an asian dish I made earlier this week. I didn't know how else to use them up.

This recipe hasn't been "healthified" in any way. I'm sure you could figure out a way to make it lower fat, reduced sugar, high fiber, etc. if you're so inclined. I should really work on that since I'll probably be making these quite a bit.

Candied Ginger Cookies:

3/4 cup butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg
1/4 cup molasses
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger root
1/2 cup chopped crystallized ginger

1) In a large bowl, cream together the butter and brown sugar until smooth. Beat in the egg and molasses. Combine the flour, ground ginger, baking soda, and salt; stir into the molasses mixture using a wooden spoon. Mix in the fresh and crystallized gingers.
2) Cover, and refrigerate dough for at least 2 hours, or overnight.
3) Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Shape dough into 1 inch balls, and place about 2 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheet.
Bake for 10 minutes in the preheated oven, or until lightly browned.


Friday, November 13, 2009

And the Jogging Stroller Takes the Lead

Jogging stroller - $350
Race Entry Fee - $35
The look on people's faces as a jogging stroller passes them - priceless

I’d been looking forward to this race since we moved into the neighborhood last year, and I was going to make it work somehow. M had the choice of having either this past weekend or Thanksgiving off, so he was away on a trip. The babysitter I had lined up was branded with the scarlet S at the last minute.

Fortunately I was able to contact the race director, and he was very accommodating. He agreed to allow jogging strollers on the course as long as they started at the back of the pack.

During the first mile I passed a group of women, and one of them was like “Whoa, we’re being passed by a stroller.” Then another one said “Yeah, let her go. She can’t keep that up.”

Oh, really now? We didn't get passed once.

Most people were supportive, and I got a lot of “Go Mamas” and high fives along the way. I noticed a bunch of random spectators taking pictures of us too. I guess we were sort of a novelty.

We rolled to a second place finish for my age group. Ok, so it was a small race, but still pretty cool considering I was racing for two. With the stroller and the rolling hills, I averaged at least a minute slower per mile than I normally would have for a 15K.

I look forward to making this race a tradition and running it with E again next year. She’s my best running partner ever.

I love this kid to pieces.

She provided the good looks, I just provided the muscle.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

"The Real Distraction for Pilots"

This op ed piece takes on a variety of pilot work rule issues and sums 'em up better than I ever could. Here's the linky if you're interested. "The Real Distraction for Pilots"

Thanks for stopping by. I know I'm a lazy blogger today.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Tales from the Silver Comet Half-Marathon

I did it. My longest run in over 2 years is over. Let me tell you about it.

Due to a bullshit timing glitch I only have an official gun time, no net chip time. The shoe I attached the chip to passed over the mat, but since I didn't stomp on the mat, it failed to register when I crossed the starting line. According to my watch I finished in 1:45:18, but my gun time is almost a minute slower. I know it 's splitting hairs, but it peeves me that my final sprint to shave a few more seconds off my time was all for naught. In all my years of racing I've never had this happen.

Not a PR, but close. I'm 10 pounds heavier and run less than half of the weekly mileage I used to. How I came within about 3 minutes of my old half-marathon PR, I don't know. We'll need to examine this later.

In another first, I had a mysterious case of FOAMING PANTS.

It was raining during the entire race, with spurts of torrential down-pours. Somewhere around the third mile I looked down and what did I see? HUGE SOAP SUDS covering my capri pants. I wiped them off, but they kept coming back. The suds were quite obvious as most people made comments as I went by. They were even coming off my butt. Humiliating. I ran the entire race looking like someone had sprayed my legs with light layer of shaving cream. I've read about this phenomenon before on, so I'm not the only one this has happened to, but I was still a sight to behold. Time to start using less detergent and a second rinse cycle.

I held a pace of 8:40 for the first 3 miles. Feeling good, I steadily started to pick up speed. I loosely kept track of my time and checked my watch at each mile marker, but wasn't real precise. I know I ran negative splits, with each mile getting slightly faster than the one before. Miles 7 through 9 were the most difficult. I starting to get tired at that point, and it had been so long since I had run that far I started doubting if I could keep up the pace. The confidence returned once I hit mile 10, and knew I was in the home stretch. I mentally switched gears, and started visualizing myself running a 5k race. I picked a person ahead of me, then focused on closing the gap. One by one, I worked to reel them in. Working in small increments made it easier push myself to the next point.

The course is a paved bike path. You run 7 miles in one direction, make a u-turn, and run back 6.1 miles to finish in a parking lot where there are buses waiting. Then you get driven back to the starting line. It's flat and fast course, but also boring. The race was decently organized, but nothing special. Post race refreshments were the standard fare: oranges, bananas, bagels, and vats of peanut butter to spread on the bagels. I skipped that and right for the good stuff.

M had made a Mickey D's run during the race and had an egg and sausage biscuit, 2 hash browns, orange juice, and a black coffee waiting for me in the car. I devoured every morsel. I may have come up for air once or twice. It tasted awesome. He had already eaten the exact same breakfast while sitting on his duff waiting for me to finish. It's ridiculous how he can stay so skinny.

The finishers medals and long sleeve tech t-shirts were nice. Now I look forward to the 15k on Saturday. Cue Eye if the Tiger....