one of the weirdest beers I’ve tried…

This may not be saying a lot, but I tried something new this weekend. Dan and Dave and I went out Chubbys, then a fat little bird suggested we go to Orange Leaf for froyo. And you can’t say no once that little bird sits on your shoulder. That heavy bird will just sit there, barely whispering between gasps for air “You love frozen yogurt… “It’s healthy because it has yogurt in the title… “I like it when your butt gets bigger…” Stupid bird.

Right. My point.

Orange Leaf is next to Bottle Revolution, which I’ve been wanting to check out for a while.

I went in search of a smokey stout for my chili. I saw a Ballast Point limited edition beer, with a pretty white label, and what looked to be an octopus.

I like Ballast Point’s stuff. It’s an-indian styled stout. Perfect! Indian-style means hoppy.

And I walked my butt up to the register. The check-out employee (tatted hipster type girl) wanted to tell me all about the beer…

tatted beer girl: “Oh my god. Have you tried this before?”
me: “no… but I like their stuff”
tatted beer girl: “Well, do you like curry?”
me: (that’s an unrelated question, but I’m game) “yeah, I like curry. It’s good”
tbg: “oh. well, then you’ll love this beer! (I begin wondering WTF?) It’s got curry, and lime, and coconut (Dan and Dave began shaking their heads in revulsion in a nearby aisle). It’s one of my favorites… I just love showing up with it, and people are like what is that?

I don’t know why, but I don’t want people to think I’m square or uninteresting, or like normal, or something, so whenever something like this happens, I do exactly what I did to this girl–

me: “Oh, that’s great! sooooo interesting. Yeah, I definitely want it now!”

So I spent $11 on a big bottle of this beer. Not because I’m stupid, but because I wanted her to think I was adventurous, not just some typical girly girl who walks in giggling and twirling my hair. Which I guess is stupid. But, if I didn’t do stuff like this, I’d have like 10% of my life… 😉

That'll teach me not to read labels before purchasing...

That’ll teach me not to read labels before purchasing…

On Sunday, when Dan and I had basically finished all the other beer (there were only a couple bottles), he suggested we pop it open.

It's blurry because he's shaking his head in disbelief that I convinced him to try it

It’s blurry because he’s shaking his head in disbelief that I convinced him to try it

Indra Kunindra (Ballast Point, San Diego)

errrgh! Mean octopus= cool beer... right?

errrgh! Mean octopus= cool beer… right?

Okay, so my review–

It is a well-executed beer. It has great complexity. When you lift the beer to your nose, the cayenne and cumin smell is overwhelming. Like you brace yourself for how crazy it is about to get, as you take a sip.
But, then, it’s not that bad. You can taste the kick of curry, and cayenne, with a limey-coconut finish. But Ballast Point knows how to do a stout heavy enough to handle all those flavors.

That being said, I couldn’t finish my pint glass full. Dan and I agreed we would have split a normal sized bottle, and enjoyed it. But more than a 1/2 glass is just too much at one time. Again, a good beer. And one to add to your “adventure beer” list, but I wouldn’t suggest ordering it while you are out. A taste is probably enough of it.

Besides every relationship needs a little adventure right?

Okay, fine. I hated it. Why do I want you guys to think I liked it? I barely got through like 10 teeny sips. Every time I brought it up to my mouth, the smell overwhelmed my senses… Just not for me. Or most people. Though I stand behind Ballast Point, and think they did a good job on a curry beer; it’s just who the heck wants a curry-inspired beer?!

Anyway, we plan to bring a 22oz to Christmas festivities in Ohio, to make his brother, sister, sister’s fiance all do a shot glass amount- part of their Christmas Decathalon… There’s not a lot to do in Ohio apparently.

 

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sometimes I swim…

Since my injury, I decided I need to do more cross-training. Though I said it passively, I actually mean it. Whenever you are injured, you take a long look at what you have been doing and, more specifically, what you’ve been doing wrong.

Dan goes to the pool every week or two (more often lately). And I’m a little jealous. I am a bit of natural swimmer. I learned how to swim before I learned to talk. No exaggeration! My parents had a swim instructor come to our house since we had a pool, and by the time I was 2, I could successfully tread water and knew the basics.

Growing up, I was a gymnast, but in the summer “off” season, I did swim team as well. I laugh at calling it the “off” season, because I’d spend 8am-12pm on gymnastics (sometimes more, if the coaches would put up with me, until 1pm). Then went home, ate lunch, and went to swim practice from 3pm-6pm, followed by extra swimming/diving/playing on the swingset/etc.

Though I was a decent swimmer, I lacked the serious effort to get faster. I just improved my technique to the point that I could successfully swim a straight line, which in elementary school/ middle school, meant you could place relatively easily. I always had issues with breathing, so the back stroke was my baby.

So, now that you have the picture of my fish roots [That’s just silly; fish don’t have roots! :)], onto my desire to get back into swimming.

Ladies, I think we can all admit- swimmers are hot. They have nice, sculpted shoulders/back/arms… Who doesn‘t want that?

This weekend, I was committed. I went to Omega Sports, and about 20 suits later, found one I really liked. I am not kidding- I tried on about 20 suits. Last time I was in a suit, I was a 26-28. The sizing charts suggested I’d be a 28-32, depending on the brand. Speedos were cut horrible for me (high cut in the neck, but too “skinny”, leaving more side boob action then I’d like…), and Nike’s lacked structure. I found a favorite with the TYR Durafast style. Size 34? Shit! I’ve forgotten already. [Whatever. It worked]

As soon as I got home, I tried it on and stared in the mirror, moving and flexing to make sure everything stayed in place as it should… I tried to imagine how it would move in the water, and it was official- I had to test it out!

Dan texted, saying he was headed to the pool; and I basically begged him to allow me to piggy-back. I was embarrassed to think it had been ~10 years since swimming laps. He also has an extra pair of goggles and some swim caps.
(Yes, I used a swim cap; chlorine is really bad for your hair, especially if it’s dry, long, or fine)

Basically, this is what I looked like (choking on water not shown)

Basically, this is what I looked like (choking on water not shown)

As we were parking, I got so nervous. I really was thinking OMG, what if I forget how to swim? Or I am going to push off the wall, and just when I pop up, inhale water instead of exhaling! Basically, I knew I’d look stupid.

Dan picked our lane (it was a little busy, so we shared a lane). Dan jumped straight in, put on his goggles, and dropped under the water to get wet. Meanwhile, I sat down, and then slid into the water; tried to put on my goggles while treading water (next to impossible… how did I do that as a kid?!), and decided I was annoyed that we were right in front of the lifeguards… They’d probably kick me out for being too slow.

Finally, I kicked off for my first “lap” (25m lanes). In my head, I thought I’d count laps, and then see if I got any faster next time. My goal was 30 minutes. Dan eased through the water, letting his big arms and strong shoulders do all the work. I, on the other hand, rely on good form, and fast flutter kicking to slice me through the water.

My nerves only got worse as I realized HOW THE HELL DO I BREATHE?! I gasped for breathe, forgetting if I prefer left side over right, or if I was able to alternate (breathing every third stroke). Do I breathe in when I’m in the water, or (mouth full of water) nope, that’s not right. Definitely makes more sense to breathe IN when your mouth is in the air, and out through your nose UNDERwater… Okay, now with that figured out, have I been doing this on the right side or left? Okay, left…

And wall. Yep, that was all my thoughts on the first 25 meters. It’s lucky I didn’t drown. I treaded water at the wall, waiting for Dan to come back, and thought I’d keep up 1/2 of what he swims. And I was off again… Trying to get into a rhythm of breathing.

With each 25 meters, it felt easier. But I still had to stop in every 25 or 50 meters. When I was swimming, I was keeping a good strong pace. And I felt better when I looked through the water as Dan was crossing, and noticed he doesn’t really use his legs (Or as he puts it, Yeah, I look like Joe from the Family Guy. Joe is the neighbor in a wheelchair, who is totally jacked but is paralyzed from the waist down, in case you didn’t know that. It’s funny, because that is exactly how it looks. Above the water, just fine). Anyway, don’t let that sound like he can’t swim. He went close to a mile (my guess 1500m) in about 30 minutes– that’s pretty decently fast. And I couldn’t even remember when to breathe; so he wins easily.

So I went 30 minutes, and my best estimate is about 750m.

After about 15-20 minutes, my left arm started to get a little sore. Yep, hadn’t even gone that far; or that fast, or for that long, and my arms were getting sore. That’s how weak my upper body is.

The pool in my neighborhood has a hot tub, so Dan and I are going there this weekend (hot tub after a good swim is the best!). I may try to go a different day this week as well.

I am just excited, because I’ve been steadily increasing my mileage again; running as much as 2-3 miles straight at a decent pace (as fast as 8:22/mile, as slow as 10:00), and feel stronger everyday. Still, swimming is calming, and I love trying new sports! Trying out swimming again is like returning to my childhood with a youthful spirit.

I ran 200s last night, outside. Every time I lace up my shoes to go outside, I get scared. I definitely am suffering from some post-traumatic-injury-stress. It keeps me from going too hard/ too far. I am hoping by the end of August, I’ll be able to run 6 miles on my “long” days, plus swimming, and yoga. This girl is cross-training! It’s much needed, and helps keep things new and interesting 🙂

Happy Tuesday thoughts!!!

silly spontaneous beer date

Saturday night, Dan and I decided to make a night of it. Just for us, and actually go do “something”

So, I curled my hair (shocker!), and got to his place around 5pm. We went to Neomonde for dinner. After munching on a delicious kale salad (and two pieces of baklava), we headed over to Raleigh Brewing Company, to lay low until World War Z started at 7pm.

Raleigh Brewing Company (now we just call it “RBC”) is a great local hang-out. It’s dog-friendly, has great craft beers for $4, and has become one of my favorite spots over the past few weeks. The first time we went, I had the “House of Clay” (Rye IPA), and loved it so much, I had a few more. I also tasted most of the other beers at our table, and they were all delicious.

However, this time; it was busy (fresh off a brewery tour, and all the money was going to a Leukemia Research fund, so a lot of families were hanging around). We had to go outside. We tried to stick out the 90-degree weather; as I began glistening 🙂 Also, I got the City of Blokes, and was satisfied with it.

To make Dan happy, I suggested we go to Mission Valley, which is one of the oldest movie theatres in the area, and pretty run-down, but I was more interested in the “it’s close to RBC”… As we were sitting there, we decided that was stupid, and we’d rather drive to the suburbs than go to a “bad” movie theatre. So we headed to North Hills for a 6:50 showing of World War Z.

It was 6:05pm. We sat around for a few minutes. I got some buncha crunch. It was then 6:15pm. So we decided we had time for a beer at Fox and the Hound. We ordered, and drank fast (I had a Bell’s Two-Hearted and Dan had a Green Man IPA). We giggled, and got back to the theatre by 6:48pm. Perfect! I mean, there’s usually previews, and no one wants to watch those…

We walked into the theatre, and the only seats were in the front row.

cool

We sat down about a foot in front of the screen; basically below the screen, with a straight shot up. So we were staring at an odd angle. And giggling the whole time. Dan decided to go talk to the manager about a rain check. Seriously, I couldn’t read the words coming across the screen quickly enough because I had to move my head and scan from one side of the room to the other. It was crazy.

So, instead of sitting there, we wandered across the street to World of Beer. A lot of my running buddies will meet there on occasion for a run/beer. I expected 100s of beers on tap.

There were maybe 20 on tap. And nothing your typical restaurant or bar wouldn’t have. Actually, I remember a lot of Sierra Nevada and New Belgium. Not an insult, but I could get that anywhere. World of Beer implies various beers, on tap. If I wanted to drink a bottle of some worldly beer… Anyway! After glancing through their bottle list, I decided I was going Californian for the night. And began the night with a Ballast Point Big Eye IPA. It was very smooth. Hoppy, citrusy, with a foam. It absolutely hit the spot. It’s not my first time with Ballast Point, and the Sculpin is one of my favorite IPAs. I thought the Big Eye was a little milder than the Sculpin, but that might be a failing memory… I love their Sextant Oatmeal Stout (I’m not sure where they get the name, but if it’s a good beer; they don’t really have to justify their naming…) All-around, the Big Eye IPA is a great pick any time of the year. Of course, I’m partial to San Diego breweries…

So back to World of Beer (Raleigh style)… We laughed about stupid stuff, and we talked about serious items too. It came time for another beer, and I didn’t know what to get; but decided to go with a Lost Coast. I told Dan to decide while I hit the bathroom, and came back to a surprise beer.

It was fruity. And very light, and crisp. Maybe even a little “fluffy” or “fizzy”. It was the Lost Coast Tangerine Wheat. It was very good. It was definitely fruity. Like, reminded me of a Blue Moon, but higher taste complexity (not too much higher though…) If you want to look like a beer snob, but want to stick with something fruity (as opposed to hoppy), the Lost Colony Tangerine Wheat Beer (and at 5.0%, it’s more mild). I thought it was perfect for a hot summer night in July. A mid-March beer? Nope. Actually, I’d up that to a hell no. But, it was July, so I loved it; and would order it again 🙂

So, before we knew it, it was 9:30pm. I was good and tipsy. And realizing this was going to be an interesting movie-going experience. And warned Dan I may be fast asleep by 11pm (so just after the opening credits). We walked back to the move theatre, and got great seats this time- 30 minutes before the movie started. And the movie itself (World War Z) was pretty good.

Thankfully, we didn’t get kicked out (I was pretty obnoxious, telling Dan what I would do, how I wouldn’t die, etc.)

And then, we went home and we went to bed. It was a good end to a 4-day weekend.

On a running note, I have gotten up to about 2.5 miles per week (woo!), and hope to continue to upward trend, while maintaining some semblance of speed 🙂

how to train for a relay

Disclaimer: I am not an expert. This is what works (or worked) for me:

So, I had done a few “tempo” 5-9 milers, then met with the group for a 6-11 miler in the morning (mentoring a half-marathon program). This seemed to work fairly well, but wouldn’t test my legs with a longer distance in 24 hours.

So, today. I chose to do three runs mainly because I have a week off, and it is 2-weeks out from our relay. (OMG! Two weeks!)

If you are thinking What the heck is a relay?! Here is a brief overview of the Tuna200, which I did in the fall…

love seeing these!

love seeing these!

Now that you’re all caught up…

I am captaining this relay team van, from Columbia to Charleston, SC. My first leg is the hardest of the relay according to the race directors, and those 8 hilly miles will earn me a car magnet (Woo!). My next leg will be 10 miles at around midnight. My third and final leg will be 4 miles in the morning, after the sun has come up. I get to “rest” in between, and eat plenty of doughnuts and Nuun, so I should recover just fine. But, in my head, that’s 22 freaking miles!

relay_leg6

So, I wanted to get in at least one day, where I did a “mock” relay, and ran three times.

Last night, I purposely chose a hilly 8 mile loop. I took it easy on the straight-aways, and charged the hills. My average pace was about a 9:00, but that included the 9:42 warm-up and 10:11 cool-down. I stayed around a 8:40 the rest of the time. It was hard, but brought a sense of clarity. I envisioned my van-mates cheering my name on, or picking up roadkill (when you pass someone), and pushed through the pain.

This morning I met another half marathon mentor, who runs around a 8:30 pace, sometimes a 9:00 on long run days. We had agreed to run 10 miles. And I figured she’d want to go a little faster, and push my speed.

We met at 9am (yay for State holidays! Good Friday indeed!). When we started our loop around the lake, we saw a “dog” scoot into the woods. I said “that dog didn’t have a tail… Omigod, I think it was a deer”… Sure enough, it was. There were two doe just standing at the edge of the running pavement, staring out toward the lake. It was so quiet and serene. It was really beautiful! I didn’t pay attention to my speed any. But my running partner kept checking to make sure I felt comfortable, because she didn’t want to go any faster (haha).

The last few miles, I felt like I had something left in me, so I started pushing the speed, as we came back to the lake. We pushed our pace from a 9-9:30 down to a solid 8:30. Then the last 0.5 miles we were running a steady 7:30 pace. She smoked it in a little faster than me at the end, but I still felt like I finished strong with a 9:08 and 8:06 for my last two miles of a 10-mile run. That rounded it out to a 9:12 pace (which is right on target for my predicted time).

So, now, I have a 4-miler tonight. I intend to smoke it as fast as I can.

My advice for running a relay, in general, I’ll post separately.

relay_sleeping

how to sleep during a relay…

But as far as the running part goes-

It helps to run often. You don’t have to run fast or hard, but don’t let your body recover. It sounds strange at first. You want to teach your legs quicker recovery time. If you currently run 3-4 times per week, this may mean running Monday and Tuesday, then Thursday and Saturday, and eventually throwing in another run. Or running twice one day, then leaving your body time to recover.

Treat each leg as a separate race. If you don’t hit your pace on one leg, don’t worry; you may have more kick on the next one. You may be side-by-side with someone to encourage you to push your pace. You may just be sick of running, and want to run faster, so you can get to the beer and post-party faster. Or you may be freezing cold, and want to run as fast as possible to get back to the warm van and eventual coffee (my third leg from Tuna).

Enjoy your night runs. Some research has suggested you run faster at night because you run closer to your true pace. Seeing the trees blur as you run past them tells your brain you are going fast and many of us slow down. In the dark, that is not an issue. You get a chance for clarity. You can see your roadkill flashing along ahead of you as you come up on them, greet them, and pass on by. There’s also an extreme bonding with the people on the road. Teams tend to line up and cheer for you, even if you aren’t their runner.

And stretch. And foam roller (or stick massage). And eat right. Oh my god, eat right. Test out which foods work for your stomach. Which gels or chews work for you. Not just during the run, but in between. What is your time window before you run? Do you need an hour, three hours? For instance, I can almost always eat a banana. During a run, before a run, after a run; it doesn’t matter. However, I’ll admit- after living on bananas, apples, Nuun, Honey Stinger chews, and donuts, my stomach wasn’t feeling too great before my final run, in those 1-4am hours. And judging by the porta-potties, everyone else must have felt worse than me.

If you’ve never run a relay before, the biggest thing is to enjoy it! Laugh. A. Lot. Cheer on others. Honk. A. Lot. Just have fun with it!

my 5K PR during a tournament of underdogs

aka ‘I hope San Diego State beats you too

So today’s 5K sucked. It was really hard. Dan and I joked about not even going.

We started off the day a little later than usual, and headed to Cirque de Vol’s Align and Shine yoga. Which was an amazing start to the day. But it just kept getting colder and colder, and the rain started falling around 1pm (and kept falling harder). We started with a ~mile jog to the start. Then desperately tried to stay warm and dry not soaking wet until the start of the race at 2pm. I was looking Dan under the tiny packet pick-up tent (which had about 100 people under it). Suddenly, the wind picked up and dumped a gallon of water on my right shoulder. I quickly huddled under the tent next to some guys who were rocking Florida Gulf Coast University shirts (This made me happy- as FGCU was a strong underdog and took out Georgetown, officially killing my slightly red NCAA bracket). I made conversation with them until I saw Dan. He found an empty awning by the start, and we made our way there.

A woman came up to me and said “We look like purple condoms. Big, purple condoms.” I replied “You can stand under here with us” 🙂

Finally, at 1:55pm, people started heading toward the start line. I had satellites on my watch (which excited me). I left Dan with a pat on the butt (he was trying to break 20-minutes, which put him much closer to the start than I cared to be). I made my way to the middle of the pack. The weather was 38 degrees, and pouring down rain. We were all soaked to the core, just by standing out there for about 5 minutes.

At 1:59pm, Paul (Dan’s friend), and other various legit runners stripped off their sweats and jumped to the start line. And we were off at 2pm!

The anxiety and nerves rushed me. I felt strong for the first couple minutes, weaving through some of the people. Then, started to question my pace. [Given the weather conditions, it was impossible to check my garmin constantly). The thought occurred to me that I was going at an all-out pace, so I dropped back a little. Then, started focusing on a person-by-person target (in lieu of a “pace”). I kept picking people up, slowly. I overheard a guy saying we were going a 7:42. Since we were only about a 1/2 mile in, that made me slow back a bit…

We hit the “1 mile” mark, and the time-keeper yelled “8:42″… I was so disappointed. (btw, he was not at the one mile- see splits below). I sped up as much as I could hold. Then the cramping started. Damnit! I thought. I wasn’t even running that fast. I decided to just try and hold that pace. And we got past the “halfway” sign, and I pushed a little extra. I was struggling to breathe. And it felt like my legs were frozen.

Two miles. Finally! And my watch dinged “7:59” for that mile. Okay, mile-by-mile doesn’t matter anymore… I switched my view to overall time (as opposed to pace time) and distance. Time to kick it in. I tried to pick up the motivation, but it was just so freaking cold. And wet. I kept pushing.

I saw this older guy (probably 60?). I just had to pass him. I kept telling myself I could do it. We volleyed back and forth as to who was leading. Then, I saw my “nemesis” (this girl who was likely in my age group, and looked too pretty for an ugly day 5K)… I wanted to beat her, just for the principle of it. And I could see she was slowing down.

Finally, getting up the last little hill, and a downhill stretch for less than 0.5 miles to bring it in. I had to get in front of the old man! Finally, with about 0.25 miles left, I conceded. “You’re…. doing… awe-some!” I said to him in between breathes, and decided we’d finish together. Final stretch and I could see 24xx. I heard Dan yelled my name, and “24:15!” Looked up, saw 24:19, and flew past the finish. I’m still not sure what my final time was (not yet posted), but my garmin said 24:27, but I ran an extra bit to get out of the finish shoot before stopping my watch.

SPLITS:

Second Empire 5K Splits

After running through the final shoot, I hunched over, and glanced around, giving the old guy a high five “Nice job!” He agreed, then I saw the FGCU guys come through the shoot. Immediately my mind went to tonight’s game (which I am currently watching)

I hope San Diego State beats you too.

There is a sassy black woman inside of me. They were actually pretty nice about it, and wished San Diego luck as well.

(I went there for grad school, and, personally, they’re underdogs too. Hopefully my cockiness doesn’t push them out of the Sweet 16 advancement…)

Fartlekking St Patricks wknd

This weekend was pretty hectic… I was rarely by a computer, and trying to limit my iPhone usage in front of company (thanks SarahsDoodles for making feeling guilty about that one 🙂 )…

I moved my gay bestie on Saturday. I love his family and his boyfriend, and we get along great, so no worries or unnecessary drama. In fact, we have kind of gotten into a routine of it. He has moved 6 times in the past 3 years- we calculated, and I’ve been around for all of them. So because this was planned out, I knew I wouldn’t want to get in extra miles after our training program’s 10-miler Saturday morning

So, I wanted to get in some miles Friday. Ideally, I wanted to do a short warm-up, then a close-to-5K speed for 3 miles, then just mess around with mileage until my legs felt shaken out. I had been thinking somewhere in the 5 to 7 mile range. The weather was beautiful- in the 60’s and sunny, so I was ready for whatever.

Well, as I’ve mentioned before- I’m recovering from a cold that has a cough that seems harder to kick than using my iphone so much. Every night last week, I got a cramp on my run (probably due to change in breathing). This run was no different.

Fri (3/15): Oops! I fartlekked!

I started out easy, and everything felt good. Then, when I started the 5K-pace, it felt like I turned into a wind turbine, creating extra (unnecessary) resistance. I managed a 8:12, but it felt so hard. I got through another 0.85 miles before “giving up” (on a fast speed… though I did almost stop completely), which I later saw was a 8:06 pace, so would have still been good. I dropped down to an easy jog for 0.5 miles, then tried again for a fast speed. I felt like I was hitting my stride, but after 0.5 miles, I started coughing so bad I thought something ugly might come up. So I dropped back down to an easy pace, and knew I’d stay there for the rest of the run. So, I got in one last 100-meter sprint (all out), then dropped down to an easy pace to settle into. When I got back into my apartment complex, I decided I had another mile in me. When I got on the treadmill, I decided I could be ambitious. I pushed my speed a little and got a 7:03-minute mile. Woo! Which means my “average” pace was a 8:45, not bad… Esp for 5 miles. Definitely a little harder than I had originally planned.

[Fartlekking= intervals by which you play with the intervals. Rather than use a specific time or distance (say, 0.5 fast, .25 easy), you run for whatever distance you want at whatever speed you want]

Sat (3/16):

So, Saturday morning, I had my half-marathon training group. We only had one lonely participant in the 10-11 group, and she had just dropped down to the 10-11 pace group, so I figured we’d go extra slow. It was 10 miles, so that’s not the time for a half-marathoner to push your pace. Well, I really liked her. The conversation was enjoyable. And she pushed a good amount up some of the hills, and took it easy when she needed to. Our first two miles were too fast- 9:11, 9:24… But, I kept asking if she felt okay. And she did, so we kept going in the 930’s, which was a speedier pace than I had thought we would go, but is a comfortable pace for a long-ish run for me. We completed 9.91 miles in 1:35 minutes, which isn’t too shabby at all.

*** Flash forward to moving my gay bestie. And he moved into a two-story house, so I probably did the equivalent of 30 stair climbs, and I burned a good bit of calories this weekend… Clearly, I earned St Pats this year

Sun (3/17)

I woke up bright and early- 645am to be exact. Stupid getting old! I stayed in bed (in the second bedroom) until 7am. Until I was finally like This is stupid! Just accept that you are old, and get up more regularly than these younger guys… And got up to pee.

Went to turn the doorknob. Ruh-oh! It wouldn’t open. I did that stupid thing everyone does in similar scenarios though- continue to jiggle it in hopes that I had just forgotten how to open a door. Still no luck.

So, I laid back down, and tried to convince my bladder to go back to sleep. Then, texted my bestie- “her-row? (the sound my cat makes at 2am looking for someone to snuggle with- or scaring the ghosts or something, either way it’s a creepy hello and we always do it) I am locked in the room”

He woke up 45 minutes later, and let me out. We waited for the cable guy, who came 3 minutes after his time window, and took 45 minutes to install. This is all pre-coffee. Which can be a scary state for those around me.

FINALLY! At 11am, I had coffee! Woo! St Patricks Day could officially start now!

I went home, met up with Dan and some other various friends- a few who had recently finished their first marathon- CONGRATS to them! And drank some good beer. And perhaps got a little too excited about stouts. Oh, and Dan lost his credit card in his kilt/ on his kitchen floor (apparently the cats decided to mess with it in the 5 minutes we were gone, and played with it until it was hidden under something). So, I was buying.

Fun times! Happy St Pats! Oh, and random, Johnny Knoxville has been in Raleigh for the past few weeks, and everyone is amazed! I’m more amazed that he must think Raleigh Times is the only place in Raleigh to get a beer (all the sightings have been there. Maybe he just moved here. After all, everyone else is moving here, per all the reports)

various wonders of my world

1. Why does lesbian running tights keep coming up on my “search terms”? Is this to presume the blog gods believe me to be lesbian? Or more so, how exactly are lesbian running tights different than heterosexual running tights? Do they come with attachments? Or a tool belt? Or other stereotypical things?
Whoever keeps searching for lesbian tights, and getting this blog; here it is- lesbian tights and heterosexual tights are the same! I know, I know; I know. Now that you have digested that… Go buy some women’s running tights 🙂 They’re on sale this time of year!

2. How did people over 40 years old suddenly become so proficient in their computer skills? Seriously. They are all over facebook and twitter, and email constantly. They even text a lot. I think most of them must have secretly gone to some computer skills training class in 2012 or something… Just an observation; not saying they do not have the right to all those things, or that I don’t enjoy speaking with them in these technological ways.

3. Will I ever be so fast people wonder how I look so normal while running? I usually think this upon seeing someone killing it (sub-6:00 pace people), who look so normal and comfortable; even though their wind pushes me off my pace because they are that fast!

4. What is the inside of a Cadbury egg made of? and how can I replicate that deliciousness? Are there illegal substances that make it so addictive? Is Cadbury like Santa, in that they work all year, but only receive recognition during this time period? …that list could go on and on. I should just hoard those things, since I am so obsessed. Spoiler- they don’t come from the cute bunny on commercials…

Also, on an unrelated note, I’m slowly getting better. But experienced major ab cramping on Tuesday and Wednesday night’s runs. I’m guessing its due to the constant coughing and ‘hocking’ during my run

Has anyone else had random things they wonder, that frustrate you to the very core?

Merrrowwry Christmas!

I completed all my shopping yesterday. Including shopping for some hard-to-shop-for people…

My GBF and I. And we went home last night, and completed one of my gifts (which I can’t picture, in case people see them before Christmas… so I’ll post them after Christmas)

I turned on Netflix, and wrapped them. All but three boxes; then got more wrapping paper this morning, and finished wrapping. This is my earliest completed Christmas wrapping ever (Dec 23). Go me!

$12 from Target last year...

$12 tree

You have no idea what's inside any of these...

So, I had time to take pictures, and post them for anyone lacking holiday enthusiasm. Trust me- you wrap prettier than I do… Just have fun with it! I like to make it a joke- how many pieces of tape can I use? How long will it take people to get the box open? How big of a box is necessary for a giftcard? How many boxes can I put inside other boxes? What do you do when you run out of gifttags?

And my GBF took a picture of me and my cat- Sylvester.  from my house to yours…

#awkwardpetphotos

Clearly, he loves the holidays so much, he is screaming about it… 🙂 My 18-lb cat cracks me up.

So, as Sly is screaming in this picture “Merrowrry Christmas Everyone!”

(Oh, and I’m at 995 miles for 2012)

(not) running in Boston…

So my first trip to Boston, and I’m hoping it won’t be my last. It was short- a couple days. And I am finally able to put a face to some coworkers I have seen via Skype and speak with on weekly conference calls (for the past two years). All that was nice. Truthfully, I could see myself living in Boston; the history and the culture just fit my style.

I began the trip at 445am, and I think my body just was going on auto-pilot, believing I could only be up for one thing- to run. I had to shut those thoughts out. I had a 7am flight, and that’s why I was up so early, and we got to the airport in perfect timing. And our flight was super short (1.5 hours), and no turbulence. The cabby from the airport to our hotel swore he could not drive down the street our inn was located on. But said he could drive us around to get “closer” and dropped us off about .7 miles away. I am a new yorker through and through. My family roots came out, and I demanded he pull over, and let us out. I was not about to let him keep the meter running, while we (the out of towners) gave him directions to our inn. So, we walked for close to a mile with our suitcases, during “rush hour” when everyone else was headed toward the hospital. Also, the cab ride was $32, I felt he must have driven around the way, because it only took 15 minutes. I guess cabs are more expensive in Boston than other cities I’ve lived (Raleigh isn’t a good measure, since no one takes a cab).

My coworker and I were traveling together, and stood anxiously outside our inn, waiting for “them” to pick us up (imagine a blind date). A quartet of giggles came towards us, and we both thought I think that’s them… I’m not sure… Hmmm… maybe? And they crossed the street, and said our names. As we walked the 1/2 mile to the office from there, two took the lead with me, and excitedly asked me about my running plans, because they were so interested. We were staying out by the Longwood area (toward Fenway/ BU/ MIT/ Harvard Medical Center), and they suggested I run down by the (Charles) River on the Boston side, then cross over to the Cambridge side to run back… Which made me chuckle. I quickly explained I only wanted to do 4 or 5 miles, and they were confused. Didn’t you just run a marathon? And I said I’m not here to run the Boston Marathon… And we laughed about it. Apparently these two were runners, and one even ran home (3-4 miles) on a regular basis (including Thursday night).

Meeting everyone was great. If we pretend it was a first date scenario, it was a great first date.

So we worked up until about 8pm. Our coworker walked to her train, and we returned to the inn, and grabbed chocolate covered almonds, and chips, and cookies, and tea, and went upstairs to decompress from a long, but good day.

And then, Friday, we were scheduled to find our own way to the office, which was pretty easy at that point. Friday’s plan was to get out of work by 3(ish) and head to the inn, quickly change, and go for a short run. But, frankly, I was tired, and it was 4 by the time we got to the inn, and it was overcast, so I thought it was going to be dark in no time at all. And my coworker wanted to go to downtown Boston, and see all the sights. So I scrapped the run. We had walked 3 miles (for our lunch… We walked through Boston a little to get to the restaurant), so we hopped on the train, and headed into the city.

We got off by Boston Common, which we loved. It was so pretty this time of year. And we marveled at the christmas tree, and lights, and the skating pond. And wandered around a good bit. Then, decided to wander over to Fanueil Hall, because everyone said we had to see it. And walked right past it. And into the North End of Boston, and marveled at the brownstones. Then, decided to check my map for Fanueil Hall, and walked over to it (about a mile away). And then walked toward Boston Common to eat, and found a cute place. And I had a beer- Shipyard Monkey Fist IPA- it was delicious! Then we were stuffed after dinner. And the weather was decent (35 degrees and damp). So we decided to walk back to the inn. It was only 3 miles. When I got back to the room- I calculated that we had walked about 8-9 miles throughout the day. So I consider that I did a good bit of cross-training on this trip 🙂

We ran a little- across the streets- jay walking, pretending to be locals. As if locals walk 2-3 miles from point A to point B when there’s a train that will do that… I’m guessing that’s a little tourist-y.

But we decided Beacon Hill was our second favorite neighborhood. I actually loved the Back Bay area, just east of Fenway (maybe?) on Commonwealth. It was there we crossed back to Beacon, and headed that way back to our hotel. We felt we deserved cookies when we got back to the inn, and hot chocolate. It started raining a little near the end. We stayed up and chatted about life. Until it was finally bed time.

In general, I love Boston. I could definitely see myself there. There were tons of runners (which I already knew), and everyone was so friendly, but direct. Though the whole “rushed city” feeling was imminent too. I felt southern, just meandering around the city at 9pm 🙂

It was so pretty all lit up

It was so pretty all lit up

Saturday morning we headed to Cambridge (by foot- because at that point- why not?)… Well, why not? Because it was raining. It wasn’t at first, but soon after we started walking, it started raining, and my shoes were soaked. It wasn’t such a pretty day, and we couldn’t really appreciate Cambridge and Harvard. Everyone had said it’s a beautiful campus, but we found it damp, cold, and foggy. And quickly found shelter for a lunch to-go, and got back to the inn to get to the airport.

So in total, I walked about 2 miles Thursday, 8 miles Friday, and 5 miles Saturday. That’s a total of 15 miles in three days. Although no running, I feel okay with 15 miles… After all, I’m doing 9 miles with Dan Sunday afternoon (and he has been running at a faster pace- about 7:30s to 8s), so it may be a struggle to keep up 🙂

 

Date #2 and challenge update

So, this whole “do something active every day” is hard to find time for.

Yesterday was busy. I had to leave work early (3pm) to go to the iPhone doctor Apple Store and get a replacement iPhone. No worries, I have new phone- woo! …But lost all my pictures and music (which is backed up to my computer).I had to activate my phone, which should be easy, but took 3 calls to Verizon, because my mom was dodging their calls (WTF?!), and her voicemail box was full, and I had texted her 4 times earlier to tell her what was up, and I had even emailed her. The problem was I didn’t know our account’s password.

I told the third (and final) verizon representative I would send up a smoke signal, and hope my mom saw it… He thought it was amusing.

So, at 6pm, I emailed Dan the old-school way, from my computer, to say I was almost on my way, and should be there by 645. As soon as I got to his place, I was like “WHERES YOUR PHONE?!” And immediately texted my mom, and instructed her to text/call his cell phone with the password. My mom’s response? She emailed me at 11pm the password. Which I got this morning when I got into work. And am happy to report, my life iPhone is up and running again.

So I got to Dan’s, and we hopped in the car for dinner, then to the fun. concert. It was a fun people-watching concert. As in this kind of people watching-

I hate to admit this- but I totally felt hipster. Because I followed the lead singer of fun. from when he was in The Format. Because I’m totally underground like that. haha!

But yeah. Most of the people there were wearing scarves (boys included), and were complaining about the beer selection, and how everyone around them was a sell-out. Oh my gosh! It all made me laugh so hard. Just listening to some of them.

So, we got back at like 10, and Dan wanted to wash all the sweaty hipsters off him, so took a shower. And I had to find time for a little fitness action, so I took the time to work my glutes and hip abductors. He got out of the shower, and jsut started laughing, as I’m exercising on the floor, at 11pm. Date #2 completed. 🙂

Maybe I’ll just go back to running, and not worry about other fitness stuff. It seems slack to work out for 10 minutes and call it the “same” as running for an hour… Today’s plan is to go for a short run while I’m getting an oil change. Yep, I do that. They always ask “are you going to wait here?” And my reply is always “Well, how long will it take?” And I plan my running distance accordingly. And then the mechanics look at me weirdly, as I just take off running.

Tomorrow, I am moving my gay best friend, so that will be athletic. He is on the third floor, and has a LOT of stuff, so lots of stair climbs with weights. Yeah!

So, Day 7: 2×20 hip abductor leg-bends (I never know the real names of these exercises), and 2×20 fire-hydrants, and 2×20 “pizzas” (on knees, kick leg up toward sky. I never understood why my coach called them pizzas, but it stuck with me)

Happy Weekend! I hope you all get to sleep in some tomorrow, and you enjoy tonight- crisp, freezing cold air and all!