Saturday, February 20, 2010



July 3rd feels far away today, but I know it will be here sooner than I think.  (July 3rd is Triathlon day!)

Today I checked my "baseline" for a 5k (3.1 miles).
I'm not a runner.
I've never been a runner.
In fact, I hate running.  (or at least, I thought I did - I had fun today).

The plan was to see how long it took me to complete a 5k... without killing myself.  I didn't care if I ran, jogged, walked, or crawled.  I just wanted to finish.

I started out walking for 5 minutes... to warm up.
After the warm-up, the plan was to jog for 1-minute, walk for 2-minutes.  I did this for about the first mile.  Then it became jog-1, walk-5.  Then it became "watch the heart-rate and walk till it got back into my cardio-zone".
Oh, I also was in my very hilly neighborhood. (I brought the GPS with me, so was able to determine that my ups and downs during the run had about 100' of elevation changes throughout - lowest elevation to highest).
I ran/walked "out" for 1.56 miles, then turned around an retraced my steps.  This worked out well since I didn't really have a set course already laid out.
I kept my heart-rate between 140-190 throughout and slowed down immediately if it got to 180.  The monitor showed 223 at one point, but I think that was a hic-up in the sensor.  For the most part it was between 150-170.
I walked the last 5 minutes to cool down, then continued to cool down & stretch once I got in the house.

Want some stats?  Here's what the workout shook-out like:
Total mileage:  3.17 miles
Total time:  46:02:09
Total calories burned:  286

Mile 1:  14:26 minutes
Mile 2:  just about 15 mintes
Mile 3:  a little over 15 minutes

So, that was run #1.  Four months to go & warmer days ahead (so no dodging snow piles soon)!
Now... what's for dinner?!?

We had a visitor

I was just complaining that I haven't seen many birds at the suet feeders this winter... when who happens by.... this guy!

(Click on the photos to see them in high-resolution)

He's a Pileated Woodpecker!  And he's one big bird... at least 18" tall, if not pushing 2'.

How cool to see his gorgeous red head - during this time of white and grey.

UPDATE:  Okay, bird watchers... what do you think?  After posting, I visited Cornell's Ornithology website and I think we might have a female Pileated here.  The males have a red "forehead" and "whiskers" while females are red only on the crest.  Take a look and I'll try to get more pictures if SHE shows up again.

Friday, February 12, 2010

12-of-12: February 2010

Remember those potpies I got the day of our last 12th?  We just had them for dinner.  YUM!

It's February 12th, folks!  Time to participate in Chad Darnell's 12-of-12 Project.  What's the 12-of-12?  You really should know by now, but if you don't... it's a fun photo project that has you post 12 photos from your day, on the 12th of the month each month of the year.  Chad says this is the last "official" year... we'll see if we can get him to keep it going.  :)

So what happened today?  Today's theme, as it turns out (not by any conscious decision), was "Buffalo Buildings & Food".  Strange, I know... it's how things went today.  Take a look:

Breakfast with Jerilyn!
After months and months of trying to set a date, we finally got one.  HOORAY!  Pano's Restaurant in Buffalo, NY is a must for visitors to our city.

Below is the view from our table (on the 2nd floor of the restaurant).  Elmwood Ave is an eclectic street... with businesses and residences all in one.

(Jer, if you're reading this, it was SO good to see you - we MUST dine together again soon.  If we start planning now, we might see each other by June.)

Move that bus!
I never thought the TV show Extreme Makeover: Home Edition would come to Buffalo... but they did!  Last fall they visited the West Side and built this home for the Powell family.

I told 'im we already got one!
Bet ya didn't know that Buffalo has a castle.  Well, technically no.  But the Connecticut Street Armory sure does look like one.  See for yourself...

Lunch time!
It's midday and I'm getting hungry.  I have an apple and some grapes, but that's not enough.  But what else to have?  Then I drive by this place...
This is the birthplace of (Buffalo) Wings!  In 1964, Teressa Bellissimo, owner of the Anchor Bar of Buffalo made these for her son and some friends as a late night snack.  The rest, is history!
I didn't have lunch at the Anchor Bar, sadly.  I'm trying to "be good" and not eat high fat foods like Chicken Wings.  So, instead, I opted for this:

Take-out sushi.
Oh, and this is part of the reason why chicken wings off the list of lunch-time foods.  Earlier this week I registered for my first Triathlon.  It's not for a while now (July 4th weekend), but I want to get into shape sooner rather than later.  This book was a gift from a friend.  "Don't take the title the wrong way" she says... "just read it."  So I am.  And I'm loving it so far.  Jayne Williams, the author, makes me feel I can easily accomplish this goal I've set for myself.  Easily.  With training.  Training starts later this month (sort-of already has with my daily workouts).

If I didn't already have other plans for this Saturday night,  it's possible I'd be coming here.  St John's Grace Episcopal Church is the host location for Buffalo Gay Bingo!
This ain't your grandma's bingo... this 1000-times more colorful, rowdy, and there are WAY more drag queens in the room (or so I assume... ya never know).  Plus, after each winner is announced the whole group shouts "B*TCH" at the top of their lungs and points at the winner.  (we were all thinking it, after all.)

Around the corner from St. John's are these beauties... there are LOTS more like it in the area, but these two are my favorite from the day.

A view from the porch -
Finally, here's the 2nd in this year's series of Views from the Front Porch.  As mentioned in January's 12-of-12, each month I'm going to take a picture of the same "corner" of the yard, while standing on my porch.  Not much has changed since January... still have snow (altho not as much as some in the country right now), but the days are getting longer and there's the promise of warmer temps soon.  

Well that's all for this month!  
Remember to kiss your Valentine on Sunday (and everyday).


Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Two Minutes

I've given myself 2 minutes to Blog.... then I have to get ready for work.  Blah.

In the last 2 weeks, I've committed myself to 2 events (hummm, do I see a pattern?!):

First, I'm going to do the "Tri in the Buff".... a "mini" Triathlon in Buffalo, NY.  750 meter swim, 12.4 mile bike, and 5K run.  It's in July.

The other one is the Tour de Cure... I haven't registered for this yet, but it will be either a 16-mile, 25-mile, or 30-mile bike ride.  I'm thinking 30 miles... but I will wait to see what my "team" is doing.  This one is in June, almost a month before the triathlon (which is good, I'll be ready for the cycling for sure that way).

That's it... 2 minutes goes fast.  Wish me luck on my training!  I'm gonna need it!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Turn the Page... Tuesday

Happy Tuesday!
Happy Groundhog Day!
Happy Birthday, Mom-In-Law!
Happy Turn the Page... Tuesday!

January was a slower month for reading... I tried, but I couldn't get into Hemingway's The Sun Also Rises.  I quit right around last month's TTP... T.  I might go back to it, but not yet.

What would a month be with more Sookie!?  I had a blast reading more of the Sookie Stackhouse southern vampire series by Charlaine Harris.  This time, Book 4: Dead to the World.

It was neat to read this one right now (in January)... the story was set in January, too (tho it's substantially warmer in New Orleans than in New York).  Sookie set her New Year's Resolutions at about the same time I did.  (And that's the end of the similarities between her life and mine.) 
In addition to the usual vampires, shape-shifters and were-wolves (and were-panthers, etc) came out of the woodwork.  Oh, and witches... there were Wiccans and Witches this time, too.  It was a crazy scene.  I LOVED it!
Why it's named Dead to the World, tho, I'm not sure.  Keeping with the DEAD theme, I suspect.  I once heard an interview with Ms. Harris and she admitted that her publisher/agent usually choose the title, much to her dismay, sometimes.

I'm currently reading The Falls by Joyce Carol Oates.  This is the March selection for my Book Club.  I've never read any JCO before, but I've heard it's "different".  So far, The Falls is living up to that description.  In the first chapter (even told on the book jacket), a man commits suicide by jumping over Niagara Falls, leaving his wife of less than 24-hours alone in their honeymoon suite.
Cheery, eh?

I've been enjoying the story so far & the characters are vividly written.  Plus, I'm loving the references to the different locations in the book.  I live within 50 miles of Niagara Falls and can really see the scenes she describes from various visits there. 
I'm about 1/4 of the way into it... so, we'll see where it goes.  I'll be sure to post an update next month.

Well, that's it... like I said, kind of a slow month for reading. 
Thanks for stopping by!  Be sure to pop over to Some of a Kind to see what others are reading, or to join in!
See ya next month!

P.S.  Punxsutawney Phil (the groundhog) saw his shadow... 6 more weeks of winter.   Oh well, more time for reading.