Wednesday, August 15, 2012

More travelling blues?

Last week I was travelling yet again, this time to Solon, Ohio, again for business.  The week didn't start out well:  I arrived at the airport at 5am ready to catch my 6am flight, which was cancelled.  The next flight out would get me to Chicago about a half-hour after my connection to Cleveland took off.  The airline had me on standby in Chicago but couldn't guarantee me a flight to Cleveland until 4pm, which meant possibly a full 8-hour shift at O'Hare... and they couldn't or wouldn't provide me access for the day to the business center so that I could work during my layover... so I opted to rent a car and DRIVE to Ohio.  It was a LONG day (especially since, after making the determination that it would be fast and easier to drive, I found there would be another hour or so's wait for the rental office at the airport to open! It WAS only 5:30am at this point after all.) Along the way, I found I had a very scratchy throat.  By the time I reached Solon and my hotel, the scratchy throat had graduated to a full-on Sore Throat, and maybe a bit of a cough... not good.

By morning I was Officially Sick.  I was a mess, and I was in a hotel and scheduled for lots of meetings with lots of people.  I'll skip the gory details of my week, but it was long, there was NO exercise, but I didn't have much trouble avoiding "bad" foods.  My hotel has a little kitchenette, so when I arrived on Monday I headed straight to Trader Joe's and picked up a week's worth of groceries.  I was able to have a healthy breakfast and bring a lunch to work each day, and - what I'm going to call "reasonable splurges" for dinner each night, cooked in my little kitchen.  For a travelling week, it was an unmitigated success!  (And I forgot to weigh in so not sure where that stands.  I'll find out this weekend.)  My flights home on Friday went exceedingly smoothly and I arrived home before noon, no driving for me.

I was feeling marginally better by Friday, which was good, because I had PLANS.  Friday was the 10th... the first day of my Birthday Week, and my friends' band, Triple Charge Time, (oh, and check out their YouTube page here) was playing at a new venue in Peoria.  I took the dog for a walk, took a nap, and then got cleaned up and took every bit of cold medicine in the house to ward off the gunk, and headed out for the night.  Jason had to work in the morning so I was flying solo - which was kind of a fun change of pace, but also meant I needed to take it easy on the beer, as I would be driving myself home.  All good things actually, since if you remember from my Glendale post, I had a race Saturday morning, the Evergreen 5K out at the lake.  An early evening going BIG on the music but small on the beer worked all the better for me.  I had a wonderful time, got to catch up with my friends and see a few people I haven't had a chance to talk to since I left the firm three years ago!!  It was great.

Saturday morning's 5k was... well, fine.  I was feeling better, but definitely not over my cold yet.  I decided "Hey, I've paid the registration fee - I'm going!" But didn't feel well enough to run at all.  So I compromised.  I took Coty with me, and we walked the whole thing.  She enjoyed a new route in completely unfamiliar terrain, I enjoyed the INCREDIBLY BEAUTIFUL weather, nice, flat course, and a lovely 3.1-mile walk.  We finished last and really enjoyed ourselves.  I picked up my t-shirt, commemorative pint glass, and visited with some of my running buddies during the after-race festivities.  Our unofficial time was about 56 minutes... a far cry from a record!  (Though maybe not my LONGEST time...?)

I spent the rest of the week in "recovery" mode.  I'm nearly over this cough, and last night when I walked the dog, I tried some running, to see how my lungs responded.  I managed some intervals:  2 minutes (then about 8 minutes of walking), then three, then four, and after more walking, I found we were about a half-mile from home and tried a 5-minute interval.  After each interval, I suffered a ridiculous hacking coughing fit, but I was able to get through it well enough.  I hope by Friday I'll feel well enough to do a long run.  I'm still training for that 10K next month, and I'm pretty sure there's another 5K in the meantime, for the McLean County Autism Society.

Aside from that, the most exciting thing I've done the past two weeks has been watching Boardwalk Empire.  Jason and I have watched the whole first season On Demand - I like it!  We've started in on Season 2 tonight while I've been writing.  Guess I'll get back to it now.

Have a lovely evening, all...

Where does the time go?

Okay, so once again I've been a long time between posts.  I really need to figure out how to fit writing / blogging into my normal daily / weekly routine, just like the exercise.  I think it's important, a good way for me to keep my own thoughts focused and to remind me what I'm working toward, and why.  But I guess that's a subject for another day, cuz today I'm gonna get you caught up on recent news.  Luckily, it's been a relatively uneventful couple of weeks.

My last post was written via my iPad, on the rooftop patio of the hotel bar where I was staying during my visit to Glendale for work.  I always enjoy going to California for work because I can usually work in a visit with my family.  All of my immediate family lives in southern California and it's hard living so far apart.  I miss out on so much, but with work the past few years, I've had quite a few opportunities to have quick, one-day or one-afternoon visits.  This time, I was there only for Monday thru Thursday, so a trip to see my brothers and their kids wasn't an option, but my mom and dad each came to see me.

Mom and I had a little sleep-over in my hotel room.  She didn't pack much for the one-night stay, but she brought a suitcase full of treasures and memories to go through!  There were photos, letters we kids wrote when we were little, and all sorts of goodies.  The best part, though, is that she sent me home with some really wonderful pieces:  TWO Judith Campanaro originals (oil paintings, the artist is an old friend of the family, my mom's best friend and soul-sister)
I'm not sure the official name of this piece, but my mother has always called it "Madonna with Child"

This one is from a series that Judi did, memorializing various influential women in her life.  "Miss Terry" is my mom.
and this great piece... not sure if it's a painting or a print, or even who the artist is, but it's something my mother has loved all her life.  It was a gift to my mother's mother's mother, on her 18th birthday:  February 24, 1907.  It's such an honor to have been entrusted with the keeping of this piece that has been in possession of the various Matriarchs of my family for over 100 years! 

I'm afraid the resolution on these photos is not as detailed as I would hope; I took them with my phone so that I could post them as soon as I got them hung up at home, so mom could see they'd arrived safely and found their new home comfortable.

So, mom and I had a great visit (if short), and I headed to the office in the morning, leaving her at the hotel to lounge as she saw fit and head back to her grandchildren in San Diego (a visit she had interrupted to come up to LA for the night).

The following night after work, my dad came and picked me up.  We went to dinner at this great place called Damon's - a sort of tiki lounge joint known for their great steaks. Complete with a piano bar and Mai Tai's.  Dinner was terrific and we talked about everything under the sun - raising children, caring for grandparents and vets, stories from his childhood and college days, and the project closest to his heart these days, the AV Wall - a 1/3-scale model of the Vietnam War Memorial.  You can learn more about the project here, or on their Facebook page, and find out where you can go see it, or how to bring the travelling wall to YOUR community, or of course, make a donation to the cause.  It's a great service they are providing, giving vets and their families opportunities for healing and remembrance, and another means of honoring their comrades.
The fabled Mai Tai, and dad's choice for dessert:  Orange Whip - very tasty, I must admit!
A couple nights later, the night before I headed home, I had opportunity to spend the evening with MY "soul sister" (if you like), Robert.  Best of friends since we were in grade school, Robert knows where all the bodies are buried, even helped me dig the graves for some of them.  We had a wonderful meal on Sunset Strip with his partner Sam, talking shop (we're both accounting / business professionals with a long history in public accounting firms), catching up, and laughing about the bad old days.  We took some pictures with our cell phones but I don't have them handy right now, will have to try and remember to upload those another day.  All in all, it was a great week in sunny SoCal.

All that good food (and the fact I remembered to pack all my workout clothes, with the exception of the essential Workout Bras, meaning even my one opportunity for a workout was a bust, no pun intended) and the lack of excercise did not bode well for my weight that week:  2.5 lbs gained!

But right back on track once I returned home, I hit the road for some great runs with Coty and with my weekly running group, and it was workworkwork and runrunrun all week.  In truth, not much more to say about that week, except I managed to work off 1.8 of those nasty Traveling Pounds.

This post is getting a bit long... I'll continue and finish up the past week shortly.