weeknight running dates & dinner dates

Recently, Dan and I re-cancelled cable. Before we lived together, we didn’t have cable.

I have a problem.
I am addicted to bad TV.
So, I had to just go cold turkey. CUT IT OFF! That’s how I got back my life.

I stopped watching the s**t that passes as television. And I am much happier. Dan and I actually cook meals, as opposed to watching others cook meals. I can hear nature outside my window- birds, and cars, and the fountain in our courtyard.

Personally, it’s the best.

But, it also marks a re-birth of sorts. It’s officially getting hotter, and will soon be the dead of summer. And, it forces me to do things with my life. Such as running (but could be other things).

Monday

Monday night was great. I got home nice and early (I’m so glad my job has settled back down again, allowing me to head home before traffic), had a Nuun and some easter candy, and went for a little run. My four miles ended up being 4.5 miles. Oh, and I found a cat by a creek.

No, I did not bring the cat home. Even though our apt is no longer the “crazy three cat apartment” (I guess I’ll tell that story soon too).

Monday’s run was light and easy. I felt good, so I stretched my loop out a little further to a “five mile” with intentions of walking the last mile. The 10:00 pace felt like home again, and I managed to go “sub-8:30” on the last half-mile (downhill, but, hey, who cares). I also ran past Dan and Dave, just as some a-hole who was blazing through a red light almost hit me (I had the “white man walking” sign).  I managed to push a little on some hills, and relax on others, but maintain a somewhat steady speed- 9:30 to 10:30 pace.

Tuesday

Tuesday night looked like a bad storm was about to start, and my favorite thing to do when that happens is rush to get in some hill sprints, so I am never too far from safety. I did the closest, longest hill to our apartment. It turns out it was about 200m (0.12-.13 miles) long, and a 50ft elevation change. It was hard enough to feel like a good workout, but not so hard I couldn’t complete 4 repeats.. They ranged from 1:13 (9:30 pace) to 1:21 (10:40 pace). Not bad.

Maybe I’m weak. I had also ran 6 miles Sunday and 4.5 miles Monday, so maybe it was too much. Either way, my ab was a little sore later that night, and continued to tighten up throughout the night, so I gave in, and took a muscle relaxer to loosen things up overnight.

About me and my muscle relaxers… When my ab is sore, sometimes it can manage to loosen up on its own. Sometimes, it seems to just get more and more sore, until I have to forego exercise or just lay in bed all day. I’ve found that taking a muscle relaxer (5mg) helps to break this cycle, and relaxes my breathing and ab overnight. I definitely don’t rely on them, but usually end up taking one every week or two. It’s also part of revving up my training. My goal is to be able to figure out more accurately how much is “too much”, and find the “just right” balance to enhance strength in my abdominal muscle and push it a little further to get faster.

Wednesday

Aka “Date night”

Dan said he really wanted a steak (Maybe he was in Texas for too long), so we decided to head back to Stanbury for a good steak, and a fine liquid libation.

Side note: I love when bars call them Libations. It kind of makes me laugh. Maybe it’s because it’s a little pretentious, but, then it usually means they are good cocktails, so I guess I do really love it. Hmmm… Libations!

Yummy libation (tequila, jalapeño, and other deliciousness, served on rocks with smoked salt on one side). And onto the main dish- I got the scallops  which came with grilled onion and fennel, tossed in a delicious light vinaigrette over a bed of faro (bottom, left, mostly eaten… whoops!). All in all, delicious. Their veggies/sides always are great! Everything on the plate is thoughtfully planned out and meant to be eaten together. As opposed to the ‘oh right they will probably want some mashed potatoes with this’ veggies. Dan got the ribeye (top left, also partially devoured), which is why we went to Stanbury, so that was delicious as well.

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We then popped over to Hayes Barton in Five Points for a slice of cake and pie.

The night was perfect weather, so we took a little walk before eating our cake.

Thursday

Another night, another run. It was a beautiful night, and in keeping with getting back to my old normal, Dan and I went for a little four miler together. All in all, it felt good. Running with Dan always pushes me to run a little faster, and push the pace a little beyond my comfort zone. We have a little, steep downhill, following by a grueling 0.8 mile uphill. So it was slow at first, but the mile splits were 9:43, 9:41, 8:45, and then change for the last 0.64 miles. Overall pace 9:26, so I was happy with that. Hence, a little faster than normal, but not grueling fast speed.

Then, we pan-fried some sausage, kale, and broccoli for a well-rounded diner. Followed by the rest of my Hayes Barton cake.

dan me post-run

A little post-run picture. Red-faced, blurry, and all. You know what they say A couple that runs together, sweats together…

Also, I love that you can see our fully-stocked wine rack in the background, that may or may not have a bottle of vodka on it.

 

So, Happy Friday everyone!

I’m headed to Asheville for a pre-wedding sleepover with one of my old college besties (getting married NEXT weekend!). I may take pictures and post.

 

 

 

 

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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 🙂