Corporate Run

Last Thursday was the annual Mercedes Benz Corporate Run in Fort Lauderdale. I was excited to participate for my third running. This year was a bit different though since I haven’t run a 5k in over a year. Unfortunately, after tearing a tendon and a subsequent diagnosis of Graves’ disease, I was sidelined for what feels like forever!

Thankfully, my doctor was able to clear me for exercise once my thyroid finally stopped functioning in February. Yay! Nonetheless, a 5k was a tall order. I trained as much as I could, but with a hypoactive thyroid my energy is nonexistent. Meaning, instead of a normal, rigorous training schedule, my body needed 2-3 day breaks in between workouts. This itself represented a massive departure from my grandiose expectations for my recovery.

I was back at my doctor’s office early last week for my six-week check-in. She made some adjustments to my medication, which should help immensely. Honestly, the effortless weight gain, the absolutely no energy, the absolute exhaustion and the absolute inability to sleep properly have gotten old. On a positive note, my blood work supports my symptoms, which in my doc’s words “means we can fix it!”  My doc is a rock star and is taking good care of me through out my treatment. Unfortunately, it’s just part of the process as we figure out the right Synthroid dosing.

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She did reiterate my ability to work out, but added a caveat about common sense. Clearly, she doesn’t know me. I did ask about the 5k, to which she responded “I hope you lose – meaning I hope you walk.” As I got up to leave, we compromised on a solid effort in the first mile with common sense dictating mile two and three.

In the end, I was nervous and excited for my first 5K in over a year. I went into the race with reasonable expectations and the hope that I’d finish somewhat respectably. As the race neared, we entered the start corral, which was huge. The corporate run had over 9,000 participants this race. Fortunately, it was a chip to chip race.  Consequently, my time was not negatively impacted by being encumbered by mobs of people behind the start line. img_0615

It felt amazing to be racing again! The first mile went pretty smooth and I felt pretty good. As I promised my doctor, I was conservative over the remainder of my race. In the end, with my foot asleep and pride swelling in my heart, I crossed the finish line. While my heart was swelling with pride, my right foot was coming back to life, after falling asleep on mile 2, as I waited patiently for my post race free beer.

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My time this race was the slowest I’ve ever logged at a 5k, but it will forever be the one that gives me the most pride. After a torn tendon, a diagnosis of Graves’ disease, subsequent treatment and no exercise for nine months, my time of 37:23 is pretty damn good! Moral of the story, winning isn’t always about getting a PR every race. Sometimes winning is not being afraid to show up and do your best no matter what cards you’ve been dealt. 

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Lastly, I had to share this photo from last year’s race as it included Paul.   My associate director Paul was someone who embodied perseverance.  While he wasn’t with us this year physically, he was definitely therein spirit.  We miss you Paul!

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It’s Time For States!

It’s time for states!!! The vaunted state hockey tournament. The culmination of countless hours of practices, driving, off ice sessions and games is finally here. Fortunately, both of our boys are playing locally this year for states! Yay!! Unfortunately, we’ll be at the rink all weekend with nary a break.

Our tournament started with our U12 Panthers Gold taking on the undefeated Blackhawks Red. It was an exciting game. I had expected a lopsided affair, but it was 0-0 through much of the game. The Hawks put one in while on a 5-3 power play. Our squad didn’t stop their effort and kept it a tight game, but we couldn’t bury the puck. All in all it was a good game.

Well after my bedtime, Goalielocks’ U16 game was scheduled. Okay, maybe 9:50 isn’t my bed time, but by Friday night I’m exhausted. Fortunately, I packed my beta blockers so I could take the edge of my nerves and my heart rate. The game opened with a breakaway against Goalielocks and he came up with a huge save.

The rest of the game was back and forth. Goalielocks saw a lot of shots, but was on point. TK buried the puck early in the first to put us up by one. We netted another goal in the second putting us up 2-0.

The second period had me worried, but our squad stood strong. They ended up banging one in, but I couldn’t see what happened from my angle. When the period ended it was 2-1. Thank God for beta blockers.

As the third period got underway I was hoping for a quick goal to allay my nerves. I got it! #relieved. The team had some great offensive moments in the third period. Consequently, we went up 4-1. It was then that the wheels started to fall off for the other team. They took a 2-10 penalty followed by another minor penalty late in the third. Happily, the game ended a 4-1 decisive win for our Panthers Gold and my Goalie.

Now it’s midnight, we’ve been at work and school all day. Tomorrow starts early with a call time at the rink of 9:30. We have game all day and another late night at the rink. I’m off to bed to get some much needed sleep. Let’s Go Panthers!

Peewee Quebec Day 4

Peewee Quebec Day 4 was full of hockey and Canadian whiskey. Officially, our boys went 1-1 today in their exhibition games. In their first game versus LSA France, they lost a tough one. It wasn’t even close.

The second game, they played a French team and won handily. It really was the first time this trip, they were able to get their offense going. Of course, my updates ceased in the second period, but that’s a whole different story my Hubby probably doesn’t remember. I love the team picture from the second game. My Mayor has his arm around one of the French players like they’ve been friends for years. This is why Peewee Quebec is the best experience for these kids.

Now back to my Hubby and the lack of updates in game two. One of the beauties of Peewee Quebec is that the kids are with the coach from morning tonight, so the parents are free to do as they please. This is even true if it includes drinking copious amounts of Canadian whiskey early in the morning.

Today has been bizarre. The moon is full and the weirdos have come out of the woodwork. I should have know how the day would track when leaving Dunkin’ this morning there was a man out of his gourd high. I mean, high! He was talking to himself like he was in the midst of a video game and acting it out. It was surreal. It reminded me of my childhood neighbor, who when he was five would pretend to be Yoshi from Mario Kart. Only difference is about 30 years and total lack of sobriety. This man was so out of it, he didn’t even notice me or the other customers leaving the store.

The day’s trajectory continued upon this bizarro path. When I didn’t think anything else could go sideways, I got a call from my friend in Quebec. My first reaction was panicked as I thought maybe one of my boys got hurt. Alas, my Mayor was fine and my Hubby has passed out after a tangle with Canadian whiskey. Oh boy….. In case you’re wondering the final score on that fight: Canadian Whiskey 1 Hockey Dads 0

To be clear, the caller was also far from sober. My friend was insistent that I give him the hubby’s phone code, so he could update his lock screen to gay porn. At 5:30 in the afternoon, this was just the call I needed. I asked if Hubby was okay and positioned, so he wouldn’t aspirate his vomit. To which my friend responded, I put him face down, you’re missing the point I need to update his lock screen. When I suggested he used My Hubby’s finger to open up the phone, I could literally hear the lightbulb going off in his head.

Shortly thereafter, I ended up speaking with his wife and my dear friend. She’s clearly a saint for a number of reasons (including last night’s recreation photo,) it today for checking in on my hubby while babysitting her’s. I’m pretty sure that’s not how she envisioned her Peewee Quebec trip. Nonetheless, she kept a watchful eye on my hubby and got some golden pictures. As for me, I was laughing so hard I was crying and that was exactly what I needed today.

Tonight My Mayor is taking in the QMJHL Ramparts game with his team at the Videotron Center. Meanwhile, back at the hotel my Hubby is “undrinking” the whiskey. Once my Mayor is back to the hotel, he’ll call home. He’ll tell me he had a fun day, but wants to go to bed and I’m preventing him from doing that. Tomorrow brings the second game of the tournament and a must win game. Perhaps I’ll even get updates through all three periods tomorrow.

Day Two in Quebec

It’s day two in Quebec City for my hubby and my Mayor. Fortunately, I got to speak with them briefly last night. I say briefly because my Mayor was more concerned with getting to bed than talking to me. Nevertheless, it was clear they’re having a good time.

When Goalielocks and I went, I did a paparazzi like job documenting the trip. Based on a handful of pictures I received from my friends on the trip, I was starting to think I’d have to photoshop my Mayor’s head on Goalielocks’ body to ensure there was photo documentation of him being in Quebec. My girlfriend did send me a couple of gems. One of my hubby and other hockey dad up to shenanigans (no surprise here.) The other of my Mayor and one of his favorite people Jack.

Thankfully, the Hubby came through tonight with some great photos and videos. Unfortunately, the only picture of the Mayor he caught at Val Cartier (tubing place) was the Mayor in his natural state -i.e eating. The Mayor hit up the Patro for lunch today and was able to trade pins with Teams from Mexico, Japan, Russia and Quebec. Word has it that the Mayor’s quite the pin trader. Apparently, he’s absolutely unafraid to approach the other teams and coaches to secure pins and make trades. That my folks is why he is the Mayor.

My boys also headed up to the Winter Carnival, which we missed out on. Our fist couple of days in Quebec City had windchills -35- -45, so we missed it. The pictures make it look absolutely amazing. I particularly love the one of my Mayor trying to eat an ice sculpture. For those that know him, they’ll tell you the kid can eat. For the uninitiated, I can tell you he comes with three stages: hungry, hangry and satisfied for the moment. It is absolutely imperative that you try to move for hungry to satisfied for the moment. His hangry is mean!

While the boys had a blast up in Quebec City, Goalielocks and I took some time for nature. We headed over to Loxahatchee Wildlife Refuge for an afternoon of walking and photography. It took me a half hour to find all of my stuff, but only five seconds to realize my camera’s battery was dead. Oh joy!

It was a beautiful, sunny afternoon here in Florida with temperature in the low 80s and not much humidity. The Everglades are absolutely beautiful. They’re serene and calming with all the beauty nature has to offer.

I was chasing beauty and serenity, Goalielocks wanted adventure. He was certain he had seen a wild boar through the binoculars and was intent on following it. Fortunately, my mom sense (aka common sense) won out and we went the opposite direction.

This trip through the park we saw five gators that were pretty small. We went up to the fishing dock before leaving, but it had been closed down. There were no gators that could be seen although I’m sure they were everywhere.

I also took a trip to the gym. The movement is definitely helping my joints. Unfortunately, I still have quite a bit of pain in my left knee. My right knee, however, has improved markedly. I finished my workout with some ab exercises. I wanted to go back to lifting, but felt it would be too much stress on my knee joints. My new plan is to start next Sunday. Afterwards, I celebrated my run with a fresh ginger shot. Oh, how times have changed….

Here’s one more video of mini golf:

Peewee Quebec 2019

IMG_7363.jpegIt’s time for Peewee Quebec 2019! For the uninitiated, Peewee Quebec is the penultimate youth hockey tournament in the world. Goalielocks was fortunate to go in 2016, so we’re thrilled that the Mayor has the opportunity to go.

They flew out yesterday, flying to Montreal and then driving to Quebec City. Fortunately for my hubby, his booking faux pas paid off. It turns out they wouldn’t have made their connecting flight to Quebec City due to flight delays. Thankfully, it also meant our friend’s who missed their connecting flight were able to catch a ride to Quebec City. My Mayor called me from the road to let me know they had made it to Montreal and were headed to QC.

Their night ended late last night, while today started bright and early. The Mayor’s team had their first exhibition game of the trip against the Les Esclairuers. It wasn’t a pretty game, but the Mayor had two assists and a good time. After the game, they headed to the Patro to eat.

I can’t wait to hear the Mayor’s impression of the Patro. When we were there the cashier looked like Sloth from Goonies, but with a French accent. It was super cool to see the teams from all over the globe. On our first day there with Goalielocks, his team met the teams from Calgary, Ukraine, Austria, and Minnesota. It’s a pretty unique experience.

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Tomorrow the Mayor’s squad will take on a Czech team before hitting the slopes at Val Cartier. We had an absolute blast at Val Cartier, so I can’t wait to see how my hubby and my Mayor enjoy it. It’s an amazing tubing park and absolutely beautiful. While they’re in Quebec over the next eight days, I’ll be sharing pictures from their trip and our first trip in 2016

Meanwhile in Florida, Goalielocks and I made pan friend ribeye steaks last night. He wanted an appetizer, so we kept it classy with pigs in a blanket (puff pastry since we’re fancy.) Tonight we made home made pizza and French bread pizza with the leftover bread from last night. Goalielocks made the pizza crust for our pie from scratch. We fancy!

I also hit the gym, which felt good. Unfortunately, my joints did not tolerate my treadmill at all. I’ve got a lot of pain and swelling in my knees and other joints. My doc said the pain should abate as my thyroid levels normalize in the coming weeks. I hope she’s right. In the interim, I’m sticking to the elliptical and bike to ensure I’m getting the joints movement with minimal impact. Also taking shots of fresh squeezed ginger and turmeric post workout to help mitigate against the inflammation.

Here’s the video of their entrance this morning, be sure to watch to the end.

Just Another Saturday

It was just another Saturday spent at the rink. Goalielocks had five games to referee this morning while the Mayor had a marathon practice for Peewee Quebec. Today’s games were Goalielocks first travel games. Fortunately or rather unfortunately, they were mites or as we call them now U8.

For the uninitiated, hockey parent craziness seems to be inverse to the age of the kids. Meaning as the kids age, the parents tend to mellow. At U8, however, every kid is going to the NHL and every game brings an intensity from the parents you only wished to get out of your players.

It’s been awhile since we’ve been in mite hockey, but the cavalcade of cowbells quickly brought me back. I found my seat in the bleachers next to the hubby, so we could anonymously watch him ref.

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Honestly, I only made it through one game. Refereeing is hard enough because of all the rules and all the responsibilities that go with it. When you add crazy parents screaming at you and you’re only fifteen, it’s a whole different world. At least from a mom’s perspective. I think the best part is watching them scream at both refs for not calling penalties forgetting that penalties are assessed at the end of the game. I left, but my husband was quick to point out this cycle continued. How quickly people forget….

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My ref was good with it, which is why refereeing is so good for our kids. You learn so many viable life skills. On the otherhandn I headed home to take care of the laundry and grocery shopping since I had no desire Not wanting to get into a fight. Goalielocks did end up having to eject his first parent. No surprise here, but it was a goalie dad. We goalie parents are a special breed. Long story short, my boy enjoyed his day refereeing.

Midway through Goalielocks’ marathon ref session, the Mayor’s Peewee Quebec practice started. His practice ran from 11:30-5:30 with Coach Shawn putting them through two on ice sessions and off ice. I missed the practice, but the hubby was able to watch most of it.

We’re so excited that our Mayor’s been given an opportunity to play at Peewee Quebec. Goalielocks did the tournament three years ago and it was one of the best trips ever. I love Quebec City, especially old town, so I’m bummed I’m going to miss this trip. Nevertheless, someone has to hold down the fort in Florida!

The best part about the last practice before the tournament is getting all the swag. My Mayor was wearing his new hat all night! The pin bag brings back great memories for both Goalielocks and I. I know the Mayor will love trading pins.

Tonight we grilled some flank steak fajitas (recipe below) and served it with grilled onions and roasted peppers for a healthy low carb dinner. Well, mine was low carb as I used romaine lettuce as my tortilla. I know what you’re thinking, I’m taking my life into my hands using romaine lettuce and you’re probably right. The Mayor was deeply offended by our gross dinner choice, so he made himself pizza rolls.

Make it here:

Steak Fajitas:

1 flank steak

1 juice of one lime

2 onions sliced

1-2 lbs of mini bell peppers, sliced lengthwise

Olive oil

Pepper

Salt

Instructions:

If using a charcoal grill, get it started.

Onions:

Cut the onions into slices.

Coat the onions in olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Place onions on the grill and cook for 15-20 minutes until they’re tender.

Peppers:

Pre-heat oven to 450

Slice peppers lengthwise

Coat peppers in olive oil and season with salt and pepper

Roast the peppers for 20 minutes and remove from oven once the edges have started to turn black.

(If using regular bell peppers, I prefer to cook them on the grill with the onions.)

Steak:

Use the juice of one lime and olive oil to coat both sides of the flank steak. My hubby prefers to rub the steak with olive oil and freshly squeeze the juice over the steak. Use the salt and pepper to flavor as desired and set aside until the grill is ready. Don’t let it sit for too long or it will get mushy.

Once the grill is hot, cook five minutes per side. We cooked ours for about ten minutes and it was medium rare, which is how we like ours.

Let the meat rest 5-10 minutes before slicing at a 45 degree angle against the grain.

And then assemble. I should have taken a picture of the final product, but I ate it too quickly! It’s so simple and so good!

Washed My Sneakers

Yep, I washed my sneakers in the wash machine. Honestly, I didn’t even know it was a possibility until earlier this week when Goalielocks washed his NMDs. As you may recall, Goalielocks and his brand new Adidas’ has a run in with a retention pond in Chicago. He washed his shoes Monday and they look and smell great. Well at least they smelled good Monday night.

I realized this morning that I might be about thirty eight years late to the party based on the look of incredulity my co-worker Gabe me. However, I have an excuse or two. Honestly, I haven’t worn sneakers as my everyday shoe since elementary. I’m a high heels kind of girl and will be again once my tendon has healed. Also when your heels get dirty, you can’t stick them in the wash. You either replace them or clean them with a cloth. One can see how I’d be late to the party here.

Secondly, I have three boys. We’ve gone through a lot of sneakers in our days. So many that it’s amazing I’ve never washed them before. However, boys grow fast, so you’re replacing them often. More importantly, my boys are hard on their shoes. Much like my boys’ socks, their sneakers, especially when they were younger, were borderline disposable. By the time their condition would necessitate a wash, the boys had already ripped or otherwise destroyed them.

So how do you wash your shoe without destroying it? Simple.

1) Add shoes to wash machine after taking your laces out

2) Add laces in a laundry bag (I left my laces in the shoes and had no issues, but laces in the shoe can cause issues during the wash cycle.)

3) Add additional laundry to act as a buffer for the shoes.

4) Add detergent. (I also added Borax to aid the cleaning process. If you shoes are white, you can try bleach.)

5) Set the water temp to cold

6) Launder the shoes using the delicate cycle

7) Set out to dry (I didn’t put mine in the dryer, nor should you.)

8) Realize you probably should have done this sooner after drying your shoes.

I ran my sneakers through the delicate cycle twice. The rainy season and scooter life were tough on the shoes. They’re actually quite muddy from everyday where. I’m quite pleased with the results, but I would have gotten even better results if I hadn’t waited months to wash them.

Items needed:

Day One Chicago

Day one in Chicago has been fun. We beat the storm in, which was fabulous. In fact, it really didn’t start to snow until nighttime. After leaving the airport in my sexy Buick rental car, we hit Target to pick up some snacks and drinks for the room.

For Goalielocks, Target was just one more delay in eating a nice, hot slice of Giordano’s pizza. We checked out and quickly headed to Giordano’s thinking the storm would stay at anytime. Fortunately, we could leave our groceries in the car as we ate. I definitely miss that ability in Florida where we have to race home so our freezer items don’t melt!

Giordano’s was the perfect anecdote to a long day of travel. Our short layover in Detroit afforded us no time to eat. Consequently, we were quite hungry. The beauty of deep dish pizza, at least for me, is that one piece will leave you satiated for the rest of the day. In fact, neither Colin nor myself ate the rest of the day. Our late lunch at Giordano’s was enough to tide us over for the rest of the day.

The snow was absolutely beautiful this morning. We got about five inches at the hotel. The major roads appear to be relatively clean with some of the side roads still quite slippery and snow covered. I’m truly not looking forward to driving forty minutes southwest for tonight’s game. As for the temperature, it’s still pretty comfortable. The wind, however has picked up quite a bit, which is blowing snow everywhere. Meanwhile in Minnesota, my Mayor and hubby were enjoying sub zero weather.

Our hotel is nice enough and centrally located to the mall and Dunkin’. I dropped Goalielocks and his friends at the mall this morning, so they could do something other than look for ponds near the hotel. While they canvassed the mall, I headed to Ikea. I love that the store reminds me of my Scandinavian travels and the AirBnB’s we stayed in that were filled with IKEA items.

After the mall, Goalielocks and his boys headed back outside to cause trouble. They found some nice snowballs. The majority of which seemed to end up on Goalielocks’ pants and hoodie. He’s now down to one pair of pants that isn’t soaked or muddy. His nice Adidas joggers got a bit muddy after he broke the ice at the edge of the pond. You can only imagine how happy I was upon hearing that story.

While Goalielocks wrecked yet another pair of pants, I decided to do some yoga. I took a risk and did a vinyasa video from Fightmaster Yoga. It felt incredible, but it definitely got my heart rate pumping. I did modify some of the exercises to bring my heart rate back down. I’m not sure if it was the fact I’d only drank coffee today or Graves’ disease, but it was annoying either way.

Meanwhile in Minny, my Mayor is having a blast with his team and has already hit White Castle twice. Like I’ve shared before, he’s got an iron gut. At present, he and his team are playing at outdoor game not far from my Aunt and Uncle’s house. Tonight they’ll head down to the Excel Energy Center to see the Wild attempt to play. Last night, the Mayor got to see one of our favorite coaches and his mite coach, Coach Ryan. It’s awesome how hockey introduces you to great paths and how your paths keep crossing through the game we all love.

Chicago Bound… Hopefully

We’re Chicago bound hopefully… I say hopefully because we’ve made it as far as the runway in Detroit and now are parked on the tarmac. My hopes of getting into the city and situated before snowmageddon and Chicago rush hour are starting to dwindle. Ugh! I hate driving in the snow and I hate driving in rush hour traffic.

We had a nice flight from FLL to Detroit. Including some vintage Saved By the Bell episodes. They did make me feel a bit old, but also had me reminiscing about Saturday mornings. Afterwards we had a nice run down (don’t worry mom I walked) the terminal from gate A60 to A9. And now we wait!

While we wait here’s some things I’m looking forward to in Chicago:

  • Getting to hang out with my BFF Jenny
  • Hanging out with our hockey family
  • Watching the beautiful snow fall from the comfort of my hotel bed
  • Catching up on sleep after only getting 4 hours of it last night
  • Giordano’s pizza
  • Lou Malnati’s pizza
  • Thankful that I’m not on keto- see above!
  • Finally exploring the Schaumburg IKEA after driving by it for year. It works out since I need more lingonberry and cloudberry jam
  • And especially hanging out with Goalielocks

Good news is we’re ready for takeoff!!!! Chicago here we come!