Monday, February 10, 2014

ATY 6-Day Race: Lessons Learned

As long as the last post was, I didn't want to weigh it down with the details of the race. That is, the stuff that I want to remember in case I ever decide to do something like this again. Just maybe it will be useful for someone else too...

First, the big question. Could I have done 300 miles? Yes. I am sure I could have. I made one mistake that would have made it much more difficult, and another mistake which stopped me from trying, but I believe that if I did it again with my current knowledge, I could have completed 300 in 6 days.

The first mistake that preventing me from trying for 300: Believing that the soreness I felt after day one was a sign that something was "wrong". I don't know why I got the idea that 50 miles wouldn't make me sore. Of course it will. But it always gets better. Soreness never means something is broken or getting worse. Don't be so afraid of the discomfort.

My second mistake: Don't rush. This bit me a tiny bit on day one: no 9 minute miles! But on day three, it created a huge problem that I'm still paying for. I had to walk most of the day. My muscles were too sore to run. So I walked. Which is fine. But I tried to walk fast. I was worried about getting behind in mileage or being out on the course too late so that I would get cold. Don't worry about it, slow down. It only made my hip hurt to walk that fast, and that was a problem that I had to deal with the rest of the days of the race. In fact, I'm still dealing with it. On day four, I wanted to walk a lap with Brian. But he was walking fast. I should have just not done it. Instead, I forced my way through it at the end of the day. My hip was toast after that and I had two days of running to do still. Be patient, your body can do it, but only in its own time.

The trivial things:
  1. I rocked the nutrition this time! So don't mess with it next time. If you don't feel like eating something, then don't. But pick something else that doesn't sound so disgusting at the moment. Remember that you can't come back from real hunger on a day like this. I drank primarily ginger ale the whole time. This has become my go-to ultra drink. I had no nausea trouble the whole time, even in the heat. It also is a "slow-drip" of calories, so I didn't have to work so hard to make time for chewing. The only thing that would have improved the situation is if I could have added ice to my bottle every once in a while to make it more palatable. I REALLY don't like ginger ale when I'm not running - weird.
  2. Don't ever forget sunscreen or lip balm (frequently). And remember to not put sunscreen on your forehead - it only ends up in your eyes - painfully. And you're wearing a visor on your forehead anyway.
  3. Timing chip needs to be VERY loose on the ankle. Even better, find a way to attach it to your shoe.
  4. Gaiters - I have to find ones with a wider, more comfortable elastic top. I wore them the first three days, but then realized that they were a big contributor to the ankle tendon issues. The last three days I skipped them, but then had to stop every once in a while to remove the accumulation of rocks from my shoes. Find another pair. (or make them?)
  5. Break down and shell out the dough for a pair of Hokas. The bottoms of my feet paid dearly in pain for what I wasn't willing to pay in cash. Try them out early, and just do it for an event of this length.
  6. Allergy medicine from the start. I didn't wait for any symptoms, I just started taking Claritin the day before the race. Not a hint of any asthma problems.
  7. Some beds are hard on the hips. Figure out a way to sleep on your back. As if this is doable...

ATY 6-day race

In February 2013, I was trying to get over my failed attempt of running 100 miles in 24 hours at the 2012 Across The Years race. But also taking over much of my thinking (and probably the real reason that my mind was not in the race at ATY) was our big move to NYC. In January we had flown out, purchased a place to live and Brian met with his future boss. I thought maybe the ultra running had come to an end. At that same time, there were some posts on the ATY facebook page that were trying to gauge the level of interest in expanding the event to a 6-day race. I was intrigued, but didn't even think about it in relation to me.

Fast forward to the summer in NY. My visit to the 3100 mile race showed me that that was too much. Mostly too much heat. I knew that if I did a multi-day, it wouldn't be a month long, and it sure as heck wouldn't be in that much heat and humidity. But I did start thinking about the 6-day race...

I started researching a little on training programs (I would post links here, but I never really found anything helpful beyond 100-mile training programs). I talked to Brian to gauge how crazy this idea of running for 6 days was. On a side note, I still have not found a thing that I want to do that Brian will discourage me from doing = reason #1,238 that I love him so.

I had no idea what target mileage I should even set, as this was so out of the realm of what I've done before. I had this for data:

My first ultra was a 12 hour night run, in which I managed 3 25k loops on fairly rough trail. So about 45 miles, just under 12 hours, and I was a bit of a wreck for a good 5 days afterward.

My second ultra was a 24 hour run, in which my goal was 80 miles. Because of the length of the loop track, I did 80.9 miles in 21 hours. I was a wreck for a week after this. Probably longer, but I jumped into running (and speed walking with the neighbors) too soon and paid with foot problems that lasted for two months. 

My third ultra was the latest 24 hour run, in which my goal was 100 miles. Which I didn't do. Because I quit. Because of many different reasons. But I did run 43 miles that day, and I was okay to go out for a jog the next day.

So from this I knew that 40ish miles should be fine to recover from and do day after day. Because I'm totally irrational when setting expectations for myself, I translated this to mean that I should be able to do 60 miles per day for 6 days and be just fine. I did scale back eventually and reset my mileage goal to 50 miles per day for 6 days (mostly because you earn a bigger belt buckle for each 100 mile increment, so why was I doing the extra 60 miles without getting a bigger belt buckle?)

So great. A plan was made; I put it up on the fridge and started working on it. I held out on registering until the last fee increase to make sure that no injuries would waste this (rather large) entry fee. I registered on October 30th. 

Then it was November.

Did I mention that I have lived my entire life in the desert, and I really had no clue what the big deal about this thing called "wind chill" is? I thought my biggest problem was going to be the much larger amount of rain. Turns out my biggest problem was the 20F wind chills that were my reality for over half of November. I thought Tucson was windy! Ha! I thought seriously about how many miles I could do on a treadmill. I shopped around for gyms for their treadmills, but who was I kidding. The longest I've ever managed on a treadmill was 6 miles. They are absolutely mental torture for me. So instead I modified my training. I took a whole unscheduled week off the week of Thanksgiving. I changed a couple of 30 mile runs into more back-to-back 20 mile runs (20 miles being the limit on damage to my face from being out in the cold). I started tapering a week and a half before I should have, because there was too much ice to run safely in the park anymore. I did the best I could to retain my sanity, because I was a VERY MEAN person when I pushed it too long in the cold.

And the result was? 

The first day I ran I managed the 50 miles. The bottoms of my feet and my ankles were super sore. My ankles are always the first to go on me, so that wasn't a surprise. But the bottoms of my feet were a bit of a surprise. So on day two, when I woke up and couldn't really even walk, I realized that I may have to adjust my goals once again.

Day one and feeling fine
On day two, I managed to run quite a bit after walking the first five miles of the day. I was a bit surprised, but also a bit encouraged. It seemed then that 30 miles a day for a total of 200 miles could be within my reach. Limiting the mileage to 30 a day guaranteed enough time to get nine hours of sleep, which is like a magic pill for my legs. The only talent I feel that I have developed is amazing recovery with sufficient sleep. Day two also was the start of several other events, which introduced several familiar faces to the course - so that helped tremendously with my morale.

Support on day two: Jessica runs with me
 On day three, I could eat these words. Even before the race started, Brian and I had discussed how day three and four would probably be the hardest, and I just had to hang on through these and then it was easy street. Day three would be hard because two days after anything is the worst muscle soreness for me. We were COMPLETELY RIGHT about that. Most of day three was spent walking, as my quads were so sore that they wouldn't really support me in a run. I kept a smile on my face and was determined to get through this. I especially didn't want to let Jessica know how bad day three was, because she had rescheduled her 48-hour into a 72-hour, which meant that she would be feeling day three pain the next day. I did pass the 100-mile mark this day, so I was guaranteed to get that belt buckle. I just still really wanted the 200-mile version of it (bigger, of course!)
I told Jessica that Nick wouldn't post our picture if we were walking and eating soup. Sorry Jessica!
On day four, I woke up, but I can't really say I woke up. My hips hurt so much from walking so much (and so fast) on day three, that I hardly slept but for a couple of hours. I was pretty sure that my race was over. As funny as it sounds, none of my training had prepared walking muscles to walk for that many hours. But, today was New Year's Eve, and Brian was starting his 24-hour race today! So I got up, got ready and said that I was going out there no matter what, but was going to quit if I couldn't run. And it was amazing! I could run. Pretty well. I got to see Brian quite a bit, who was doing an amazing job of pacing, but even then, it felt like he was sprinting compared to what my run was at that point. This was day three for Jessica, who now knew all about the pain of day three, but was well on her way to her 100-mile buckle.

Day Four: I Can Run!
 Days five and six were pretty quiet out there on the course. Most people registering for the shorter races chose to finish on new year's day. I don't blame them, it is kind of the point of the event. But the six-day race had two more days to go. The last two days were much warmer, and even had a warm, dry wind that made the middle of the day pretty hard to deal with. Most people left the course. I stayed through this time, grateful to have the problem of too hot for the first time in months. Although I was slathering on the sunscreen these two days, after the race I had a whole-face peeling that I'm hoping was more due to chapping than burning. But I've never had that much peeling on my face, so that was weird.

The night before my last day, I got a text from Jessica. She wanted to come out and join me for some miles! I couldn't believe it. She has got to be one of the best people to have in your corner cheering you on. So positive!

Brian dropped me off in the morning of the sixth day, and I started my usual one-mile warmup walk. I was feeling so calm and proud and strong. I remember being so surprised when I started running how easy it felt. It seemed that every mile I was running now was working to repair any damage I had. I felt like a spectator for most of the day, observing the world-class race that was taking place between Joe Fejes and Yiannis Kouros. Jessica showed up in the hot hours, and we had a blast chatting and jogging around the track. I felt so good that sometimes I was even able to run - really run - a lap. It was great! My dad and Carolee were there, and mom and Brian showed up too. I was really having fun, but also looking forward to being done earlier than normal on this final day so that I could get cleaned up and go out for a real celebration dinner.

The last lap I asked Jessica and Brian to run with me to the finish line. Brian hadn't run since his race which ended two days before this. He had ran 70.86 miles in under 17 hours, so he was really sore. Jessica and I imitated his run a little bit, and we all laughed and joked our way to the finish line. I had told everyone that my plan was to cross the finish line and then lie down in the grass, and that's exactly what I did. I love lying in the grass in the sunshine, and it had been beckoning me during the entire race. My family thought I was crazy, but it was a huge reward mentally for me.

I collected my belt buckle and mug (and looked through the other buckles, fondling the 300-mile one for a while, thinking of what could have been), posed for a few photos, and then hugged everyone goodbye. It was a quiet end to an epic journey.

One proud, sunburned, wind-chapped, sore and tired girl.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Rocky 50k

I remember back in September, when I saw a link to this article about how far Rocky ran in the training montage scene in Rocky II. I remember sending the article to Brian, because he loves everything Rocky. Of course, the link to ultra-marathons piqued my interest. The author had watched the training montage in Rocky II and noticed something a little interesting. Rocky REALLY gets around! To be exact, when he made a running route that connected all the scenes in order, Rocky ended up running 31 miles. When my December Runner's World came in early November, there was a blurb about a run that someone was organizing that followed Rocky's route - on December 7th. I called Brian from the Dallas airport and told him about it. Commemorating Rocky, on Brian's 39th birthday. It didn't get any better than that.

Of course, I was mostly joking. Brian has been running his daily 6 miles, but nothing longer since Old Pueblo in Tucson in early March. This was much longer, and with less than 1 month, there was not really time to ramp up his miles. Brian was not to be deterred. He was in. His parents were planning on coming out that weekend to celebrate his 40th, er, 39th birthday anyway, so we would make it a little road trip and they could see the sights in Philly while we ran around like crazy people.

The weather in the NE turned in the two weeks leading up to this race, so my biggest worry was freezing our arses off in the cold. Oh, and ice. We had learned that ice is a problem to run in. I think we got really lucky in the end with windchill at a balmy  32F (compared to our recent runs in NYC). The in-laws drove us to the start, where there were many runners standing around with grey sweats and a red sweatband getting ready to do this. Brian and I took a moment to pose in front of Rocky's steps - where the run starts.
We did some practice fighting in front of the steps. Brian really wanted to vault over the railing just like Rocky, but because of my worries of him running 30 miles plus the fact that people actually live there, he had to settle for giving me a big right hook, just like Apollo Creed. Sadie was unimpressed. 

The neighborhood we started in was awesome! This part of Philadelphia was a big old city like NY, but not so over-crowded. It also seemed like they kept a lot more older buildings, which are mostly limited to 4 stories or under. Lots of cute little restaurants, shops. Loved it.

We moved out of this neighborhood and started moving into a more industrial neighborhood. Still beautiful. And mostly deserted, as it was still early on a Saturday morning. 

We planned to drop Sadie at around mile 12. I was worried about her too, because it has been longer than Brian since she's done a long run, and she is somewhere around 80 years old in dog years. Quite the old lady, but she was a fighter. I think she was psyched to be running with others, as she never once stopped pulling ahead on the leash. Now I know that she is faking when she drags behind me on 6 miles. We dropped her off at the hotel with B&D, where she had her breakfast waiting for her. 

Around mile 15, I fell and was really demoralized then. It was cold, and I was tired. I was over 100 miles for the week, and it was showing only in my coordination and a little in my spirit. Right about then, we met up with 2 local girls from Philly who seemed interested in running with us. So the four of us joined up, and not a moment too soon. They helped my flagging spirits, distracted me from my scrapes and bruises and then we went through a REALLY BAD area, where I'm glad we had Brian 'bad ass' Zacher to keep all the questionable bystanders from acting on their comments that they threw our way... 

We ended up running with them until 2 miles from the end. Which was really good. Because the course got a little confusing. And although Brian had done an awesome job so far at reading our course directions, I don't think we would have run the exact route had it not been for Madeline and Olivia.

I think I fell behind on fuel, because the last mile I was seriously flagging in energy. Every store that we passed that had a soda sign made me almost cry. But I knew we were so close and I didn't want B&D&Sadie to wait too long in the cold at the art museum. 

With just enough energy left to run up the steps at the art museum, we finished! We ran an extra bit dropping Sadie off at the hotel, so our total ended up at 31.4 miles. They had 'Gonna Fly Now' and 'Eye of the Tiger' playing on the steps. It was so much fun, and such a neat idea. We took no pictures along the way, but some people did:
The last couple of miles of the run, the temperatures had been dropping and it was getting overcast. So Brian and I voted to go back to the hotel and clean up and maybe take a nap. In the meantime, B&D went out to see some sights before nightfall. We went out to a really good vegan pizza place that night, but most of the rest of the day Sadie, Brian and I spent sleeping.

What a way to spend a birthday!

Friday, October 11, 2013

My First Broadway Show

My friend Jessica is in NYC to goof off before the Atlantic City Marathon this weekend. So with one day in NY, I asked her the things that she would like to do. The 9/11 memorial and a Broadway show were on her list. So yesterday morning we headed over to the memorial under a very grey sky to visit that.

The memorial is done really well and I would highly recommend it to anyone. The museum doesn't open until this spring, but I'm not sure that it would add anything for me. I think the value of that must come with younger people that weren't old enough on that day to remember the emotions connected to the tragedy. 

After the memorial, we headed up to Times Square for lunch, people-watching and hopefully to find same-day tickets to a show. So in a pizza place, I browsed the web. We wanted to see something light-hearted and fun, but everything selling at same-day (for the limited amount of money that we wanted to pay) were dramas - and depressing at that. Jessica mentioned Book of Mormon, so I looked them up directly. It turns out that they do a lottery every day for really good tickets for $32! Awesome! We went over there to make sure we knew where to be at 4:30. While we were there, some people were trying to get tickets to that evening's show, and we overheard that the only available tickets were $477 each! To make a long, exciting story short, we did not win in the lottery. In the meantime, we discovered that they do standing room tickets and that was first-come, first-served. Those tickets were $27 each. We went back and forth on the wisdom of standing for a performance when we are supposed to run a marathon this Sunday, but in the end couldn't pass up seeing the show for $27. So we bought tickets and were in. They only sell 30 of these tickets, so we got lucky that we were so close to the front of that line.

So I stood and watched The Book of Mormon last night. It was a really good play. A silly, light-hearted musical that pokes fun at just about everyone. Amazing talent, amazing sets, just a great show. It was so entertaining, I didn't really think about how sore my legs and feet were getting, but I have to say that sitting on the subway home really felt great.

Now, I'm on the bus heading to Atlantic City and trying not to stand AT ALL today. We'll pick up our race packets at the expo today or tomorrow and see what AC has to offer. Wish me luck at the race with very tired feet... It was worth it!

Wednesday, October 09, 2013

Road Trip With Mom & Kathy

My mom just left for home after a very busy two week tour of the Northeast. She and her friend Kathy flew into NYC, stayed with us for a night and then did a whirlwind tour of Philadelphia and Washington D.C. (Luckily, they finished their tour of the capitol a couple of days before the government shutdown, so everything was open for business when they were there.)

When they got back from those two big cities, the three of us took off for another whirlwind tour. This tour was a road trip through the small towns and changing foliage of the Northeast. We were probably a week or two too early for peak foliage season, but none of us were complaining. We saw beautiful scenery, and had awesome "indian summer" weather.

We toured the Mark Twain and Harriet Beecher Stowe houses in Hartford, CT. We stayed the night in White River Junction, VT, which is a very cute little town that would be a nice place to spend a weekend. We saw Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historic Park, which I had never heard of before, but was very picturesque. We then toured the Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream Factory in Waterbury, VT (where the milk-eating crowd had a sample of the goods). We stayed in North Conway, NH, which is another small town, but not nearly as cute as White River Junction (sorry North Conwayans). We toured the "Castle In The Clouds", which I wouldn't really call a castle, but was interesting to see nonetheless. We then drove back down the Eastern shore, stopping to admire a couple of lighthouses in Maine (Portland Head, Wood Island). We stayed the night in Portsmouth, NH and toured the Strawberry Banke Museum there the next day. The museum is a set of original and restored houses and shops that have been restored to various points of time in the towns long history. The next day we drove down to Newport, RI and toured two of the mansions there - The Breakers and Rosecliff. These mansions are so over the top and so I was surprised at how much I enjoyed touring them. We then drove up to Providence and got to do a quick tour of a textile mill on the river.

Phew! That was all done in 5 days of driving and touring. It was a busy trip for sure. The road trip concluded in Providence, RI. I dropped mom & Kathy off at the Amtrak station for them to do a day walking tour of Boston. Meanwhile, I met up with a friend that I haven't seen for about 16 years that lives in Cranston, RI. I had a great time visiting with her and drove back to NYC, just in time to pick mom & Kathy up at Penn Station that night.

I saw that Providence does a really cool show on the river called WaterFire. It is only on Fridays, so it didn't work out for me to see that. It sounds really interesting and was recommended by my friend. So if you're ever there on a Friday (in season - they stop over the winter), check it out.

Friday, September 20, 2013

There is absolutely no way I'm going to participate in a 3100 mile race.

It's kind of fun to make statements like that, because I usually end up doing everything that I once said that I would NEVER do.

Before we moved here, I had heard of this 3100 mile race that takes place less than 3 miles of our NYC home ( I was pretty excited about seeing this and a little curious about what it would take to participate. The race started this year on June 16th, just a couple of days after we arrived. Since it takes the winners over a month to complete it, we had a lot of time to go visit the race and see what it was about. The cutoff for all runners is 52 days.

The first problem for me was that it was really hot for about 3 weeks of this race. I wasn't doing a very good job of just staying alive, so I'm really not sure how the participants were running 50-70 miles per day. It was really impressive to think about what they were trying to accomplish, but to watch them, they were definitely struggling with the conditions. 

The biggest problem for me was the absolute time commitment that this race has to take. I'm used to giving up a large portion of my time training for an ultra. It takes a really long time to put in all the miles that make the actual race a pleasant experience. But you can always maneuver the training around the other stuff going on in your life. I'm no stranger to starting runs at 3am so that I can participate in all the fun things that family and friends have planned for normal daylight hours.

This race? First, I don't even know how you train for it. Second, the actual race! Almost two months of running all day, every day. I would think about them while watching a movie with Brian, or standing in line at the grocery store, or eating ice cream on the couch. I don't think that I have the will power to do it, and more importantly, all desire to do it evaporated as I watched the participants. This last thing is the biggie. Each time in the past, when I've thought of doing a seemingly impossible thing, I get extremely excited to watch other people try to attempt it. This time, my excitement faded the more I thought about it. I guess I don't even want to know whether it is possible for me to complete it. I would rather spend that much time doing something else.

I think that my never is safe on this one. I really don't think I will ever participate in the 3100 mile race. 

Saturday, July 13, 2013


I know that I already talked about the bagel in a previous post, but I have to give a shout-out to Forest Hills Bagels.

After I told Brian about my bagel there, we had to go have one together. BUT, we assumed that all NYC bagels would be delicious. We were wrong.

One morning this week we stopped at a place that is mostly on his way to work and were dreadfully disappointed. Poor Brian. He hasn't had a little piece of heaven from Forest Hills Bagels yet.

The High Line

First on my list of things to see in NYC was The High Line.

I had read an article on it (in National Geographic?) a couple of years ago and had been thinking about it ever since. I think I was intrigued by renewing a space by working with it instead of the usual clearing out and starting over.

I loved it. I think it's an awesome idea. I kind of wish that the pedestrian bridges in down-town Tucson would have had a larger vision like this. It makes for such a nice pedestrian experience. Of course, I recognize that maintaining landscape is a much more costly endeavour in the desert...

Brian liked The High Line a lot. I knew that he would be positive, but he was surprised with what a great feel the place had.

And now I find that there is a group that is trying to do the same thing in Queens. Too bad they're not farther along. This would be within walking distance of me.

After the park, we had lunch at a fantastic place in the West Village. It's called 'SNice, and their "vegan panini with smoked tofu, basil, pesto & sun-dried tomatoes" have inspired countless sandwich creations from Brian.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

And what do I do? Alternately: What the real housewife of Queens does all day.

Jen asked, so here goes. I'll write down what I did yesterday. It's not very exciting. But that fits right in with the name of this blog, right?

8am: Returned from run. Ate, stretched, showered, ate some more.

9am: 'Played' on the computer. This means catching up with people on FB, balance both checkbooks (switching banks when everything is on autopay sucks), worked on ultra training schedule for this fall, looked up how to get to Atlantic City from here, read about snow-shoeing ultras and relays and read the New York Times (I highly recommend the 12 weeks for 99 cents deal they have this summer).

10:45: Took Sadie for a walk around the neighborhood. It was cooler than it has been, so I was trying to give both of us some more time outside.

11:00: Rode my bike to...

      1. The community gym. I wanted to look around and see if it was worth joining. I'm still a little worried about how I'm going to train for an ultra this winter with the amount of rain this place gets. This gym has an indoor track, so I thought maybe I could make that work some days. The track was maybe an eighth of a mile at the most - could you imagine doing 30 miles on that? Although it was crowded, there were some open treadmills. But I've never ran farther than 6 miles on a treadmill. I never found weight machines, and the free weight room was overrun with way too much sweat and testosterone. I got discouraged and left. I'm not sure what I was expecting... a miracle? I'll save signing up for this for the day I actually get desperate.

       2. The Home Depot. Our toilet seat has been really annoying me. We have a round toilet, but some genius put an oval toilet seat on it. This was my big surprise for Brian today. I also got a few other doodads that we've been needing to get our bikes hung over the stairwell. I have one bag that attaches to my bike. It is just big enough to fit a toilet seat in it. I didn't count on this, as I had lots more places to go.

        3. Carmel Grocery. This little place in Forest Hills is a real find. I had found it because Brian couldn't find any place that sold fresh-ground coffee when we first got here. This place has that (and Brian says that the coffee is pretty darn good), but the big thing is their spreads. They make a hummus that is probably one of the best that I've ever had, but even better than that, they make various eggplant dips that are AMAZING. Did you hear that Kurt? YES, I SAID AMAZING. And I mean it. So I got 3 different kinds of coffee for Brian, 2 more eggplant spreads to try and a piece of baklava for lunch dessert. BTW- Their baklava is really good too, just overshadowed by the amazing eggplant spreads.

       4. Walgreens. To pick up my prescription. Which of course, took way longer than it should. It seems they had a problem filling the prescription without insurance paying for it. I told them I don't have insurance, I want to pay cash. So after 10 minutes of typing, I was able to do that. What the heck are they typing in there?

       5. Forest Hills Bagels. OMG. I haven't had a NY bagel yet. Wonderful. I had an everything bagel with veggie tofu cream cheese on it. I should have had it just plain to savor the bagel a little more. It's soft on the inside, but has a tiny little crust almost like a croissant on the outside. It was really good.

       6. Key Foods. This is a 'regular' grocery store. I was out of tortillas, and this store has them much cheaper than our usual grocery store. A word about tortillas here in NY - they're AWFUL. At least, if you buy anything called a tortilla. They have the most horrible ingredient list, and they're mushy and tasteless. However, if you instead look at things that look like tortillas, but are labeled wraps, they are more reasonable. Of course they're not as tasty as tortillas back home, but they're an acceptable substitute. Anyway, I got a few bags because they seem to last a really long time (probably not a good sign, huh?).

2pm: So after this, my bag is overflowing and it weighs about 35 pounds, so I figure I should go home. My bike is highly unstable in this configuration, because the bag attaches on only one side of the bike. So I ride back across the parkway as cautiously as possible. It's also heating up, so I figure I need to get home so that I can lift my bike back up the stairs to our place without suffering heat stroke.

2:30: Crash on the couch to cool off and watch a documentary that I don't think Brian will want to watch.

4pm: Walk to the library to return one book (Hallucinations by Oliver Sacks) and pick up another (Walter Cronkite's letters to his wife during WWII). This took a really long time because I took Sadie, and then when I got there, realized there was no safe place to tie her up. I was trying to figure out whether I had to walk all the way back home or not, when I realized that the kid that was so interested in Sadie could be recruited to hold her for a couple of minutes. This worked out well, and I should have bought him a Slurpee, but I didn't. Next time.

4:45: Put the toilet seat on. I don't want to talk about how long this took. But I did it!

5:45: Read my book.

6:30pm: Brian is home. Eat gazpacho. Taste new eggplant spreads. (Awesome!) Eat watermelon. Watch Prohibition, part 2. Fall asleep on the couch because I'm exhausted from overheating again today.

There's a little glimpse into my totally glamorous life. Today so far is less interesting with mostly research on some software that I've been putting off for a while. This housewife of Queens is a coder :)