After weeks on the road I wanted to make sure to start this week at home off on the right track. This was a bigger challenge than I thought it would be. First, I was enticed by the charms of a buffet at a good friends birthday party. Second, it rained. And rained. And rained. We didn't get as much rain as South Carolina (I read that SC set the October record for rainfall by October 4th) but it still rained. Third, I was physically exhausted from all the travel. Who knew that the simple act of sitting on an airplane would suck the energy right out of you?
I wasn't going to let these first-world problems get in my way. I managed the buffet by filling my plate only once and staying away from the kitchen (a goal that was assisted simply by the number of people present at the part). If you stay out of the kitchen and away from the food it isn't so difficult to avoid grazing. I fought the rain by putting ona coat, some long sleeves, and a hat and got out running anyway. I fought the exhaustion with coffee, black tea, and trying to get some regular sleep. I also moved my typical Sunday morning workout to Sunday afternoon in order to catch a few extra zzzzzzzs.
Monday was bowling night and Tuesday was taken over by an event at work so I didn't get a chance to work out for two straight days. Rizzo has a class on Wednesday night but she is an amazing woman and rushed home at 7:45 so I could get a short run in before bed. All of that was to tell you that we need to have a discussion about courtesy on sidewalks.
I was about 15 minutes in to my planned 30 minute run when I saw them. A nice looking couple that appeared to be out for an evening stroll on the streets of Herndon, VA. They were coming towards me. I was coming towards them. I moved as far to the right as I could without falling off the sidewalk. The remained shoulder to shoulder allowing no room to pass. The sidewalk had a sharp drop as they are doing construction on this particular road and haven't filled in the dirt so I had to stay on the sidewalk as much as possible. I tightrope walked my side of the sidewalk. They appeared oblivious to my presence. The looked me right in the eye. I smiled politely back. They kept walking. I kept running. There was no movement on their part at all. 20 feet. Nothing. 15 feet. Nothing. 10 feet. Nothing. 5 feet. Time to take evasive action. I had to move in this game of chicken, planting my right foot on the unsturdy construction dirt to avoid these uncivilized scum. I barely missed clipping the shoulder of the guy walking who was still shoulder to shoulder with the woman consuming the entire width of the sidewalk. I slid my leg past to plant my left foot behind them back on the sidewalk but instead clipped the edge of the concrete and rolled my ankle with an audible "pop". I stumbled but didn't stayed upright. The couple continued walking on as if nothing had happened. My ankle throbbed. I hobbled around for a few moments regaining my footing. I could hear my Dad's voice ringing in my head from the past, "Walk it off". A few steps and the pain subsided. I was lucky. I continued my run but I also continued to fume.
Kindly reader, we are all humans entitled to walk through our neighborhood. Should we not also be kind to others and allow them the opportunity to enjoy the public access to the sidewalks. How hard would it have been for these two love birds to give up half of the sidewalk to walk in a single file line for a few minutes? There are at least three advantages. (1) No one gets hurt. I could have seriously tore something in my ankle but I was lucky this time. (2) Even if this guy who refused to give up a few inches of concrete is a douche, the very fact that when he slid in behind his lady he would glimpse at her bottom should have been reason enough to move over. What guy or gal doesn't like taking a glimpse at their significant others rump from time to time, am I right? (3) You are seen as a caring individual, even if you aren't, and that wins points with friends and enemies alike.
I'm not that guy who thinks that because I'm becoming a runner I should own the road. Nobody likes that guy. If this was the exact same situation but instead of a well-bodied couple walking towards me it was an elderly couple, both walking with canes in opposite hands so they could continue to walk but still hold hands (because there is nothing cuter than a couple of 1,000 year-old folks going for a walk holding hands) I would have gladly given up the entire sidewalk. If it was a mother out walking her baby in a stroller, pushing the stroller with one hand while holding on to her high-energy dog in the other I would also have taken to the streets. But people, we are all in this together to use a little common courtesy and slide over when you see someone coming down the sidewalk towards you. This will make us all happier.
As I made my way home Thursday night I knew I was getting closer and closer to having to leave again for another week on the road for work. I had a 67 minute run ahead of me and it was already approaching 6pm. As I pulled in the driveway of my house to a smiling Rizzo and a smiling Cece waving at me I made a decision; I wasn't going running tonight and we are ordering pizza. In prior weight loss programs I have attempted I had days where I didn't feel like working out and I felt like being "bad" (what we call it when we eat whatever we want regardless of the consequences). Usually the cause was having a bad day or just generally feeling lazy. These are the kinds of days that result in the downward spiral of me giving up on health and going on a binge. This was not that case.
I wasn't taking a day off from working out because I just wanted to be "bad", or lazy, or just having a bad day. I took the day off because I know I have a limited amount of time before I hop back on another plane to spend a week away and I didn't want to spend the precious little time I have with Rizzo and Cece running when I could be playing with Cece and then hanging out with Rizzo. So we ordered pizza. We were smart about it. We got a medium pizza where in the past we would have always purchased a large pizza with the intent of taking pizza the next day for lunch but inevitably eating the entire pizza in one night. We ordered a salad to start instead of ordering cheesy bread. I got to spend some time with Cece feeding her dinner, playing in her play room, and giving her a batch. After Cece went to bed I spent the evening with Rizzo watching our favorite TV shows and playing our favorite card game. I knew I had the time available to me to go running the next two days and then a week away where I would have plenty of time to not work out. This spontaneous day off from work out was different than they had been before. It wasn't out of laziness or the desire to avoid the strain of working out. It was out of a desire to spend time with the family. This workout free day didn't make me feel guilty. It made me feel happy and energized.
That energy amounted to a load full of nothing because the weather is evil. Friday was a wonderful day with sunny skies and perfect temperatures. That is, until, it was time for me to head home from work, lace up my shoes, and get in a good run. It was at exactly that time that the thunder rolled and the skies opened up to poor rain on my parade. I wanted to go running. I needed to go running. But I also had a flight to catch for a week in California and I wasn't going to risk the fever caused by running in the rain. So, with a heavy heart, I missed another running day. I expressed my concern to Rizzo. I was worried that I was falling into the same trap as I had before where i would make up some excuse not to work out just so I could sit around, watch TV, drink beer, and eat poorly. Rizzo was kind enough to point out that for dinner I had a very healthy Turkey chili with a banana, a little bit of popcorn as a snack, not a drop of alcohol had touched my lips, and the very fact that I was stressing over not working out should show that I was changing my routine and not falling into the same rabbit hole. You see, Rizzo is much smarter than I ever hope to be.
Saturday I wanted to get back into a more normal routine day since I would be getting on a plane the next day and I had already missed two workout days during the week. The day started with Cece and I visiting the farmer's market while Rizzo went off to her workout class (let's all bug Rizzo about writing a blog about her amazing success with Stroller Strides and Body Back. She is doing an amazing job). The coffee house we usually visit (I know you all know the one I'm talking about since you have memorized my blogs and know I already mentioned the place in Saturday Morning Cartoons) is currently being renovated by the new owners so the only items available are pastries and coffee. I had a bacon and cheddar scone while Cece had a strawberry poptart. Fear not, these aren't your typical store bought poptarts but are freshly made poptarts (and the scone was freshly made, I might add) so I didn't feel so bad about splurging a bit for Cece.
After the farmer's market and Rizzo's workout we call came home, Cece took a nap, Rizzo took a shower, and I took to the roads for a 3.2 mile run. I was cutting my run a bit short (I never thought I would consider a 3.2 mile run short but with the distance this 10k app has me going it really is a short run) because I knew I would be doing some yard work later. After the run I headed right out to the Home Depot to pick up some dirt for the flower beds and fertilizer for the grass before heading home and getting to work on mowing the lawn. It had been weeks since the lawnmower has been started up so there were some patches that were very tall. Long story made bearable, I got in lots of exercise on Saturday before the family decided to hit the Reston Oktoberfest.
You read that right; Rizzo, Cece, and I headed out by about 4pm to grab a few beverages and enjoy the atmosphere of the wonderful Reston Town Center. The number of craft brews on hand were limited for an Oktoberfest event but we were still able to grab a few good beverages. The place was packed and the lines were long but it was worth it to get out with the family to enjoy the day. Besides, the DJ was rocking some Call Me Maybe so Cece and I had to get out on the dance floor (or really dance area of the street) and strut our stuff.
After a few beer tastings we all went out to dinner at American Tap Room. This is a place we have been to on multiple occasions. Our last outing to American Tap Room was on Father's Day so I could get some fried chicken. Since then they have updated the menu and I was particularly impressed with the kids menu. Most places you go to the kids menu consists of fried chicken fingers or mac & cheese. American Tap Room had these choices but also upgrade the menu to include grilled chicken, grilled salmon or flat iron steak; all served with sides of fresh vegetables.
I'm not saying that the infrequent dining of fried foods is a bad thing (I am trying to lose weight after all so we all know I've had my fair share of chicken fingers) but Cece isn't big on fried foods but LOVES salmon and vegetables. We ordered her exactly that and she scarfed it down like a champ. Rizzo had a crab cakes and I had jambalaya. It was a great meal and if you are looking for a place to get some good food with your kid I recommend the American Tap Room.
Now I'm on my way on another week long work trip in California. I plan to get in some good runs while in the warm, dry, desert heat and try to avoid the trap of overeating on a business trip. Despite what some fools claim in other blogs (see Fly Like an Eagle), the food at an airport is NOT healthy. Goodnight and good luck.