Friday, September 29, 2006

Photokina 2006

Greetings from Germany! I'm in Cologne at Photokina 2006, one of the biggest camera conventions in the world. It only happens every two years, thank goodness. The work is grueling. I get up early and write about cameras, I go to the show and look at more cameras, then I spend hours in the press room and on the hotel lobby's couch writing about cameras. I've had enough of cameras. Here are a few pictures from the trip...

Europe isn't as fabulous as I thought it'd be. The train system here makes the T look like nothing. I have to take a train from the hotel to the convention center; it takes about an hour.

Coming by cholesterol free food is nearly impossible. I've been eating couscous and peanut butter and jelly on a regular basis. Last night I got "Gut Blee" which the waiter told me was some house in the country with a vegetable garden. It sounded like an interesting dish. Sure enough. It was a gigantic baked potato with about a pint of sour cream on top and surrounded by grilled and steamed vegetables.

One food I have found that is excpetionally tasty is the chocolate. There is an Aldi two blocks from the hotel that sells a huge bar of dark chocolate for half a euro. I'm on my second bar now. Yum.

Running has been difficult here. I work such ridiculously long hours that the sun just isn't up much when I'm free. I don't want to run early in the morning here. It's bad enough running around Boston when the sun isn't up. But since I don't know a lick of German and I'm fairly directionally impaired, I've been running in the sun here. That means I have to do it when I get back from the convention center, which has been about 6:45-7:15 most days. The sun goes down around 7:50, so that doesn't leave much time to run. I have 15 days left to the Hartford Marathon! And this week, it's taken me four days of running to get up to 26.2. Oh dear. Hopefully next week goes better.

I miss Scott and Bruce so so so so much. My phone doesn't work here, so I'm stuck with email. Scott emailed me one morning and told me how Bruce was rubbing pretzels into his pants and making mischief and I was totally jealous. I'd so much rather be there! I will be soon!

Monday, September 18, 2006


Good news all around. It warmed up to 80something degrees today, so Bruce ran around in shorts all day. We played outside and tried to take advantage of the last of the nice weather. This is Bruce on the porch.

I got a call this morning from the director of the Hartford Marathon. It's official; I'm considered an "elite athlete." Or, at least, pseudo-elite. They said since I'm "local" ("local" = not from Kenya or Russia) they won't pay for my hotel, but they will pay the entry fee and I'll have access to "elite services" like the elite tent. I've never been in there, of course, but I always imagine it's filled with lots of masseuses and no lines for them.

Even more good news. I've been told Aldi, the uber-cheap grocery chain in the Midwest, is all over Germany. Who cares about that, right? Here's the real good news: cheap German chocolate (dark doesn't have cholesterol! woohoo!) and gummi bears. Perhaps my trip won't be so bad after all.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Our Floor is so Clean, You Can Eat Off It

Bruce has been very busy lately. I let him wander for about five minutes while I did dishes yesterday and this is what happened.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Five Miles in 28 minutes, 47 seconds

The weekend was fabulous. And yes, it involved running. I feel like these posts are getting really boring to non-runners. Sorry. You'll be happy to know that I'm taking a break from racing for about a month to prepare for my fall marathon.

I ran the USATF-NE Grand Prix 5-mile championships on Saturday. I thought for sure that would be the end of my winning streak, but the stars aligned and I won it! Scott and Bruce went and cheered. I passed Scott just after mile 2 and he had Bruce in one arm and the camera in the other. He is definitely my best fan. I finished in 28:47. I didn't know I'd won until later though. There were so many people in the race that I couldn't tell if there were any girls ahead of me or not. Then I went on a looooong marathon-style cooldown with my teammates and missed the awards ceremony. Oops.

After the race, I went home and took Bruce to the park so Scott could get some work done in the lab. Bruce loves to swing and loves to shove mulch chips through the tiny holes in the playground equipment. After an hour of that, I was starving. So we walked to the grocery store and got cholesterol-free ice cream sandwiches. We walked home and Bruce and I ate four of them. It's more like I ate 3.75 ice cream sandwiches and he had 0.25. They just weren't that filling. I checked the box and they were fat-free too. No wonder they didn't taste like much.

Scott and I watched the Ohio State-Texas game Saturday night. Scott even bought an antenna for our tv so we could actually get a clear picture. We don't get cable or anything because we don't watch much tv, so we've always had about 4 channels. I think we're up to 7 channels now. Anyway, we cheered the Buckeyes to their 24-7 win. It was actually a pretty boring game because they were so much better than the Longhorns, but watching it was still a nice break from working.

Scott's birthday was this week. He doesn't like huge parties and fuss, so I just cooked him all of his favorite foods that day. I made him apple muffins for breakfast. Bruce and I drove to the lab at lunchtime and we had a picnic of honey ham and provolone sandwiches. For dinner, we had homemade bread and borscht (Russian beet soup). I didn't go all out on a cake though; I had an extra small chocolate cake in the freezer and leftover icing from the birthday party we had a few weeks ago. We still have to make a carrot cake to celebrate Scott's birthday though. He loves that stuff. I got Scott a bookbag for his birthday. He always carries his laptop and about forty pounds of textbooks in his shoulder bag, then he complains about his sore back. Hmm. Something about carrying a zillion textbooks on one shoulder, then balancing Bruce and a camera will take a toll on the back.

This post is getting long and Bruce just found the DVD button on my laptop. He keeps pushing the button, it pops out, I push it back in real quick before he can rip it off, he laughs, I continue typing, he does it again. So I'd better go.

Oh and by the way, I just barely figured out how to moderate comments, so they will appear now. Sorry about that. I had to wade through some spam about mortgage loans and diaper cakes though, so I'm glad I have a choice on which to post. Take your ads elsewhere!

Thursday, September 07, 2006

I Run the Marathon to the Very Last Mile...

I met King AdRock's dad. Yes, I met the father of a Beastie Boy.

It turns out that the lady who presented me with the trophy at the Cape Ann 25k is Gillian Adams Horovitz, who was the British National Marathon record holder. She married Israel Horovitz, a famous playwrite, who was previously married and had a son named Adam (the Beastie Boy). How cool is that?

Anyway, I got to meet Gillian and Israel at the race, along with their son. He's not a Beastie Boy, but he does go to Harvard.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Cape Ann

Happy Labor Day.

This morning I ran the Around Cape Ann 25k. I wasn't really planning on racing it because my legs still aren't recovered from the half-marathon from nine days ago. However, I felt like going for it after a few miles. I had a nice come-from-behind race. My first few miles were between 6:25-6:38 and I sped up to 6:08-10 later. I caught the lead female runner around mile 8 or 9 and held her off until the end. Woohoo. I finished in 1:39:17.

The picture is at the awards ceremony afterwards. The lady standing there won the race like 20 times in a row or something. She presented me with my prizes (a trophy that will go on display at the local YMCA, $250, and an original oil painting by a local artist). Bruce also joined us for the awards. He walked up with a cap to a waterbottle and put it in the trophy cup, then took it out.

Here's a news story about the race...

The reporter guy must have been spacing out when talking to me. The article says I took 15 months off to have a baby. I did take a few months off completely and about a year off from racing, but I ran my 20 minutes a day dangit. Anyway, there it is.

Bruce is feeling better today. He had a nasty fever this weekend. He's working on getting those molars out. There are waves of drool coming from his mouth at all hours and he's leaving bite marks on everything. I can't wait until those things are out! He's been so cranky!