Sunday, December 31, 2006


I had a wonderful Christmas. I can't pinpoint any one thing that happened or tell you about any fantastics gifts that I received. I just was really happy all the time. First we had a Christmas at home in Modena because Olly was going to be in Viareggio with her father's side of the family. This is the first time we've ever done this and I will be doing it in the following years. We've always either been at Piero's family's house or Olly away. This year I told P that I absolutely wanted our family to have a Christmas first. We all loved it.

The next day P and Evan and I drove the 800 kms down to Puglia. It took us a record thirteen hours to get there. There was so much traffic and accidents it was ridiculous. We had prepared well though so we listened to lots of Christmas music and then a reading of the "Jungle Book" on CD for Evan. Actually we listened to it five times in a row...Evan napped for about four hours midway through the trip. He was so good I couldn't believe it. He never complained or cryed or anything! Just went with the flow with us.

In Puglia we have a second house but we convinced Evan to sleep over at Grandma's house , which gave us the opportunity to do a lot of unmuffled, unscheduled, spontaneous love making.
That in itself was a Christmas celebration!
The 26th is still a holiday over in Italy. Piero asked me what I wanted to do and I said I really wanted to go to the beach, have a coffee and watch the sunset. We brought a really good friend with us and set out towards the shore. About two miles from the beach we stopped to look at a property that's up for sale. We know that we don't want to stay in Modena forever and will be looking to move someplace else in about five years, but we haven't decided where yet. One thing we agree on is that it has to be near a beach. The property we look at was ridiculously expensive and way out of our budget, but it was nice to see and I loved the view from that side windows:

Part of my being happy was in not having anything "to do". Since I am self employed I could work like 24 hours a day. Somehow I never feel like I deserve time off, but I do. That is something that is going to change in 2007: more specific time off where I turn the computer off and just spend time doing nothing with my family. Or something with my family. Or just going to the beach to watch the sunset.

2006 was a good year. It was emotionally difficult but I solved a lot of problems that I'd had for years. No, nothing that I want to expose to the internet world, but problems that I had been pushing back, hoping they would go away on their own. When it was quite obvious they wouldn't, I am proud to say I dove straight into dealing with them. I feel like this year was a transition time, gearing up for what is to come. I feel extremely positive. I am so content it makes me break into a spontaneous smile just writing this sentence. 2007 is going to be a fantastic year. I can feel it.

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Gotta go gotta go gotta go....

I had a FANTASTIC Christmas...I just haven't had the time to post anything...but I will soon...I'm trying to set up the new site and in doing so came across this FANTASTIC tool.
It's called the Color Palette Generator. Very Cool. All you do is upload a photo and it then spits out a color palette that matches your photo. Try it!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006


If you knew me well you'd know that I am a rather unpolitical person. I still vote (by mail), but I don't get into debating anything or keep up on how many seats the democrats or republicans have in congress. But I was appalled this morning when I read this article. It makes me totally sick. The world is so screwed up sometimes...

Monday, December 18, 2006


Yesterday I was able to talk Olivia into watching Evan for an hour while I went running. Actually, money talks...she accepted when she realized that I was paying her. "Watching" is also a big word since when I got home I found him in front of the television looking at cartoons and her reading a book in her room...anyway, I was able to run for an hour and ten minutes which was great. I went on a route near my house called "Tre Olmi" (three elms, still gotta search for where those trees are). It's a popular route for both runners and cyclists because there is not a lot of traffic and it's a perfect four km rectangle. Since Baldini lives five miles from here and runs all of his quality workouts on this road, they measured it with one of those accuracy wheels. Anyway, halfway through the workout, on the side of the road I found this wheel. So funny, could just imagine the says: "Veteran of successes from all around the world, during a training in balance devastatingly fell to the ground - causing general hilarity among all - His friends "will remember it!"

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Worry Not!

I wrote the Candia organization and asked them to send me the bike route altitudes. Though I still have to train for the race, if I don't day-dream I should be okay. It's flat as a pancake and actually sort of unchallenging. I'm going to have to also be patient with all the drafting that I'll be seeing. Maybe I'll make a "No Draft" sign to sew on the back of my bike outfit!
I went out for 50 minutes of pain free run today. My left leg is no longer bothering me. There is a strange pain when I breath on the left side of my chest, but anything different from what I'm used to is welcome. I went to the exercise class yesterday where the instructor had us do a ton of situps. I have no ab muscles and the minute I do one teeny weeny sit up I start to cramp. I'm so pathetic...My glutes are getting stronger though, I just have to do some more work in the tummy area.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Winter Wakeup

The organization for the Candia (Long?) Triathlon came out with the rules and regulations. They're giving a four and a half hour cutoff for the combo on the swim (3km) and bike (80km). This basically means that I have to haul a** on the bike if I want to make the cutoff time. Good thing I have another five months to train for it! It's a good goal, I just need to sit down and map out how I'm going to go about doing this. I am inspired by the time rather than discouraged. This is good :-)

Friday, December 08, 2006

Festa della Madonna

Here in Italy today is a national holiday, the Immaculate Conception or Festa della Madonna. Banks and schools are closed, but there is mad holiday shopping going on. It's also my Dad's 75th birthday (Happy Birthday Dad!). Yesterday I went to an Arts and Crafts Christmas fair near my house. I did a lot of looking, skipped all the dolls and Christmas balls and then ended up at just one booth that had a ton of rubber stamps. I got two sets of letters, five colours of ink and this angel hole puncher. This could turn into a very expensive hobby. When I got home and showed them to the kids they went CRAZY over the letters. Evan was spelling his name quite well E-V-A-N until mid afternoon when he decided he really liked "S" and "M" too. So now he insists that his name is spelled E-S-A-M. I tried argueing with him about if for about five minutes and then gave up. Esam, pronounced Evan.

On the athletic side of my life I went swimming yesterday and repeated the 10 x 100mt workout I had done two months ago. I've gone from 2'10" to 1'55"/1'59" - yay me! And that's only on swimming once a week. Just think what I could do if I actually started, I don't know, training? I'll get there!

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Wrap me up in a red bow!

I received an email from one of the guys that I had trained for the Venicemarathon this year. I met him at the expo before the race with his wife and little girl. They were so nice, I really enjoyed talking to them and hearing the non running wife's tales about following her husbands training. He had a really good race for his first marathon too - 3h31'.
So today he wrote me to let me know that for Christmas his wife had given him six months of training with me. I am someone's Christmas present. That thought makes me smile :-)

Sunday, December 03, 2006

A REAL bike workout

Outdoor bike workout

Outside temperature: 7 c° (44 f)
Total distance: 38km (23 m)
Clothing worn: two pairs of socks, two pairs of gloves, balaclava, skull cap, two long sleeve N1ke tees, winter cycle pants, winter cycle jacket.
Number of other cyclists seen: 12
Food consumed: 1 litre water, half a powerbar, one really delicious and piping hot cappuccino at the turnaround.
Money paid to babysitter: 18,00 euro (23 usd)

Piero is in Rome again and Evan is still sick. I had to get out of the house or I was going to go crazy. It's cold outside but no ice on the road so I thought I'd go for a spin on the bike. It was great! I don't know if I can keep it up (totally depends on the road conditions) but I'd love to be able to go out biking at least once a week. The other two workouts during the week could be done on the trainer, but I'd go nuts if I had to do it all winter long. I have to get those thingys that cover your shoes and I'll be set. Actually, if the roads did get too cold I could use the mountain bike since it has those big fat tires. Anyway, good workout :-)