Thursday, December 29, 2011
We arrived at Heathrow about 7 am local time this morning. 2 hours later we made it through customs to find that our hotel transport driver left 5 minutes earlier because they only wait 90 minutes unless you call (a fact not noted on our itinerary). Nor will they return for you. I'm afraid I was somewhat rude by that point.
All was well though, we navigated the underground and found or way to the hotel, checked in and I promptly took a nap while my daughter showered & did her hair...and then fell asleep herself.
We did get up in time to have an early dinner (Subway, we came all this way and she chooses Subway!), purchased tickets for Saturday's matinee of Wicked at the Apollo Victoria theatre, and then went to Cadogan Hall to hear our high school concert band's performance, even though my son is not able to be here with us. There were 3 other groups playing there as well.
Tomorrow I think we will do the hop on/off bus tour and see what interests us. Saturday is Picadilly Market and Wicked, Sunday is the parade, and either Monday or Wednesday we will go to Windsor Castle, Stonehenge and Oxford.
My daughter is in charge of pictures but there are limits on downloading/uploading here in the hotel so I can't post anything.
Saturday, December 24, 2011
My Burpee seed catalog came in the mail today, completely unexpectedly. I was so excited I read it over lunch.
Yes, I am a little to the left of normal lol.
A few weeks ago on one of my teams DOGSTARDADDY asked if we planned out our gardens or if we would just wing it. I almost fell off my chair from laughing so hard.
Wing it? Me?
I have spreadsheets for each year of gardening, from 2006. They are in color and to scale. There is clip art and conditional formatting. My 2012 garden was already roughly laid out before my 2011 garden was finished being planned. And did I mention my colorful, to scale spreadsheets?
I still have 5 months before I can start planting again and I'm already making my seed list and finalizing my garden plan. Can't wait for spring to arrive (and winter has only just begun).
Saturday, December 24, 2011
Today will be my last shopping run before Christmas and our trip, to get the last few things for dinner tomorrow and for the time we will be gone. For the trip we just need umbrellas and the pets need food & litter for the time we are gone.
For dinner tomorrow I think I have almost everything I need, but I need to take a last look at the recipes to make sure.
My daughter wanted a "normal" meal instead of something exotic this time - past holiday meals have included alligator, crawfish, ostrich, elk, bison - so I ordered a seasoned beef roast from the local Amish market and picked it up yesterday.
We will also have herb roasted baby potatoes (white & purple because "normalcy" comes hard lol!), jambalaya with crawfish, several varieties of pierogi, white cornmeal casserole, homemade banana cream pie, pumpkin cranberry bread and pomegranate coconut rice pudding made with black rice.
So as far as heritage goes I have English, Cajun, Polish and Hillbilly covered (although strictly speaking there is no Cajun in our background). I wonder if any of these can do double duty to cover the German & Ukrainian so we have full representation?
Thursday, December 22, 2011
Nope, that wasn't a typo. My feet have been hurting for more than a month. I though maybe it was my running shoes needing to be replaced but they still hurt after I got the new shoes.
My specific pain is the ball of the foot. The other times my feet have hurt like this were when I was overweight...when I was pregnant I went to the foot doctor and that is what he said it boiled down to. Lose weight = no more foot pain. He was right, it did go away.
Until I started gaining weight again a few years ago. Once I hit about 175 the pain came back and the more I gained the worse it got. Then this year as I started losing the pain started diminishing and disappeared for awhile.
Now it is back and it can't be weight related. Well, I guess it could be but I'm in big trouble then because there is not much more left to lose before I become underweight and I have no intention of going there.
I've mentioned before that I have some pretty ugly feet. They are flat and wide and have been unfavorably compared to Fred Flintstone. I have hammertoes (much better after surgery but still obvious) and chronic ingrown nails. Sorry for the TMI, I should have warned you it was coming. So my feet are not the narrow dainty painted toenail ones you see in shoe ads. I actually wear a men's running shoe for the width and depth in the toe box as women's shoes tend to be too narrow side to side & top to bottom...but I also sacrifice some support.
So I went to the running store and asked what they would recommend for me, being flat-footed, which turned out to be a ridiculously expensive orthotics insert. The kind of expensive where they don't put the price on the box so you have to ask...and if you have to ask you can't afford it anyway LOL. Well, at least it was riduculousy expensive for a shoe insert, IMHO; Dr. Scholl's it isn't.
They've been sitting on the counter for over a week. Yesterday I finally put them in my shoes.
OMG, what a difference! No more ball of foot pain when walking or standing! I traded them into my running shoes last night and no pain when running! Couldn't wear them for yoga and the pain came back, and I won't be able to put them into my work shoes so I will have to get some basic arch support inserts for them. But for the next 3 weeks at least my feet will be pain free when I'm wearing my walking/running shoes for the most part (no work) which, I hope, will be enough of a break to lessen or eliminate the pain for when I'm not wearing them.
Definitely worth every penny!
Sunday, December 18, 2011
Last week's Jingle Bell Run I set a PR of 27:15 for a 5k. Today was another local Jingle Bell Run and I wanted to see if I could get under 27 minutes, which was last week's goal.
I had my new lined base layer (very soft and warm), my mid-layer pullover and the bright red Christmas-y race t-shirt, two pairs of running tights (full length and a Capri) and a pair of red and white striped knee socks with faux fur trim, red gloves and...to "top" it off...my red & white striped elf hat with lights and a large bell, that sings and moves to the song Candy Cane Twist (aka Peppermint Twist). And last weeks jingle bells tied to my shoe.
Hey, ya gotta have fun with these things.
I was ready to go and get a new PR.
Yesterday afternoon it started snowing little, which melted as soon as it hit the ground. Then afternoon turned to evening, it got colder, the wet pavement froze and the snow stuck. Hardly a dusting, but the damage was done.
It was slippery. Not a major hazard but enough that you could feel your shoes slipping a little with every step. So a minute into the race I decided safety before glory and gave myself permission to go slower when and where needed to avoid slipping and getting hurt (I can break an ankle just walking through my front door so slipping is entirely probable for me).
End result...finished in 28:10, almost a full minute slower than last week. Even though I decided to do so I was still kind of bummed, I felt so slow.
And yes, I fully remember that not too many months ago a 28 minute 5k seemed like a complete pipe dream, not something I would ever do; I thought those people were so incredibly fast (and the even faster runners were probably cyborgs or something to be able to move that fast).
And now I'm one of them!
But I was still feeling slow and disappointed.
Here's some perspective though:
I came in 7th of 37 in my age group...top 20% (if you're data obsessed like me that is the tip 18.9%)
One of the running coaches I worked with this summer was only one minute faster than me. Even though she is a distance runner, not speed, I am still mightily impressed with this fact.
There were 56 women in the 20-29 age group. If I compare my time to theirs I would have been 10th...top 20% again (or 17.5%, I'm moving up!).
I placed 141 out of 381 overall, top 37%.
So I didn't really do too "bad"!
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