Thursday, June 28, 2012

Things I don't like

I'm actually feeling back to normal, pretty much, although I ignored my 6am alarm and stuck around in bed until 6:35. Oops. But BED! Off the couch now...though the A/C still isn't fixed. It seemed to work for a little while and then... not so much. It was having a lot of trouble decreasing temperature at all. Lame. We're hoping to get them back in to look at it soon but thank goodness we're going to be out of town this weeked. The heat index is >100. Yikes.

I'm still feeling pretty negative in general as I get pre-vacation anstiness. So I thought I'd talk about things I don't like. Because complaining is fun.

Yeah yeah. I know they're "so delicious" and "good for you" and whatever but ick. Slimy. And in guacomole? No thanks, unless it's loaded with lime juice, onions and tomatoes and then I'll have a taste. My one positive avocado experience (PAE) was in a wrap with sprouts, some other dressing, and tons of veggies. It was positive because I couldn't tell it was there.

First of all, when you search for "squash" you get this in your sidebar on Google:

Dude... why would anyone be related to squash? Oh wait.. it's also a sport. Carry on.

Squash, the vegetable, is terrible. Except zucchni and summer squash. They're fine. I think I am ok with them because they're not squishy. Add to this list: sweet potatoes. I cannot have anything to do with them. They are everything that mashed potatoes are not- slimy and sad. Again, I know these are like zomg the best! veggies! evar! but I'll pass. I'll take a multivitamin 800 times a day if it means I don't have to choke down sweet potatoes or squash. Squashes? Squash?


First off, she looks graceful in a way I never will. Second- I super swear my body doesn't bend the right way to do yoga like it's supposed to be performed. I did yoga on the Wii the other day, which I gather is to yoga what tricycling is to cycling, and it was awful! Triangle pose requires me to turn my shoulders in a way they don't turn. Not one bit. It is not relaxing to me, it's just silly. I hear about people going to yoga and how it's so good for strength training and this is actually one hate of mine I wish I could get over. I know yoga is super good for you. Stretch, strengthen, prevent injury. All that good stuff. I might (big might) try a class at some point to see what it's like in a class setting and maybe enjoy it. But let's not hold our breath. I hear breathing is big in yoga.

As far as my regular life, Nick and I did a quick 30 minutes at the pool yesterday, and I did a bunch of sprints which are HARD. Normally I chug along steadily for 30 minutes or more, but adding the intervals had me tired and a little sore today. Very good. Tonight I'll run, and maybe tomorrow also, and then we will set off on our mid-Atlantic driving extravaganza for 9 days which will involves lots and lots of hiking and very little running. It will be a nice change!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Just me bitching.

Subtitle: The week that hates me.

Subtitle 2: No, really, I'm going to complain a lot.

Sunday: return from weekend away after receiving call on Saturday afternoon that I'll need to work Sunday at 6pm. Try and nap. Fail. Come into work at 6pm for a 10 hour, uneventful (thankfully) shift. Eat 11 servings of lo mein, KFC mac and cheese (I had been up for 20 hours. Lay off) (it still tasted terrible and I 100% regret it). Go home and crash around 4.

Monday: wake up at 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11am, and 12pm. Finally get out of bed the couch where we're sleeping because the A/C is broken. Receive call that I don't have to work that night. now what? Run 3.5 warm but pleasant miles with Nick. Have dinner with Nick. All in all, a very good day. Fall asleep between 12 and 1am.

Tuesday: wake up at 6, 7, and 8am. Remember that the A/C guy is coming between 8 and 1. Transfer from bed to couch downstairs so I can hear the doorbell. Sleep terribly from 8-9:30 because FLIES ARE LANDING ON MY FACE. I swear we don't have trash just sitting around, but for some reason we have flies. Anyways. The A/C guy comes and wakes me up and asks "where is the air conditioner I'm supposed to fix?" And I stare at him. And I call Nick. I'm such a loser. I knew where it was but my brain was so messed up at that point. Hung around the house for a while then did 4.1 terrible miles on the treadmill (you know it's bad when you're counting down tenths of a mile starting at 1.5 miles in) while the repair guy did his thing. Went to work at 1:30. Worked until 8 when I was told I could go home. W.t.f. Had weird surge of energy at home and did all the things until midnight, then tried to sleep from midnight until 1:30 or so. Finally slept 1:30-7.

Today: Calling everyone by the wrong names. Grammar eludes me. Even watching this video (I swear I'm an adult, but man that song is catchy and Jimmy Fallon makes everything better) will not cheer me up. There's still a slight potential we'll need to switch back to nights for the next couple days and if that happens I will just break down and cry.

We're leaving for a 9 day driving vacation starting on SATURDAY. That's like 3 days away. W.t.f. again. I'm so not ready for anything and just want normalcy.

Annnd... I'm done.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Another weekend...

...another trip out of town. I went to fill up the car yesterday and Nick looked at my little gas tracking book (my parents have always kept track of EVERY tank of gas that goes into their vehicles, and it trickled down to me when I bought one of their cars. It's neat to track gas mileage and marvel at gas price changes since the car was purchased.) and saw that I hadn't purchased gas since June 11... how is that possible?!? Usually it's every 5-7 days. Then we thought about last weekend... and how we didn't go anywhere. And how wonderful that was. Then I cried. Nick and I also drive to work together most weekdays, which saves a lot of money (for me, cutting out the 45 mile round-trip 2x a week means 90 miles/week saved which means ~3 gallons which means $10+. Those extra $10 will buy me a haircut someday).

But that life of little driving is not going to happen again this weekend. This afternoon we're headed to Frederick again to tour Flying Dog Brewery again. Ugh. Life is hard when it's an endless string of brewery tours. And actually, I'm pretty excited about leaving the hosue because we're STILL without air conditioning and the upstairs temp was 93 degrees yesterday. I wish I was kidding. Downstairs was fine, so we're living it up on the couch still. I am pumped to sleep in a bed, even if it's a hotel bed.

We're also going to Frederick for a work "conference" for young professionals. It's an opportunity to network and socialize. I lined up one of the speakers for the conference and got his resume yesterday so I could prepare an introduction for him. This dude has some serious credentials- Naval Academy graduate, project manager on huge projects, lots of technical expertise. I want to be him.

But getting back to me having to introduce this guy. Oy. I don't mind public speaking to folks I know- we provide training to our coworkers pretty regularly at work. But 40some strangers? No thanks. I'm sure it'll go fine, and if I end up puking on the podium at least it'll be memorable. I might take after Mad Men and have a morning glass of whiskey (totally kidding) (kinda sorta).

Imaginary segue.

Workout yesterday was my triumphant return to the elliptical at the work gym. Or... 30 minutes of remembering that I don't use those muscles very often, followed by 10x2 w/ 50 lb. deadlifts and other random weights. I tweaked my left hamstring but it feels alright today. And today is a rest day. Hallelujah.

I leave you with a picture of some adorable baby turkeys. We have a turkey family that wanders through Nick's backyard every few days to eat a few of the abundant insects we have. The babies look something like this, and there are 4 or 5 of them that trail behind their mother. Last night they were hanging out under a tree, chomping away, when a bird flew by. The babies instinctively squatted down under the tree and then popped back up once the bird flew away. It was really neat, I swear. We haven't gotten a good picture of the babies but they look something like this.
Tiny brown cuteness.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Workout flexibility

In addition to being annoying dedicated to a workout schedule, I'm also a bit of a stickler for completing whatever workout I have planned in my head before I get to the gym/pool/treadmill. Exhibit A: Biking last week, Nick, my dad and I planned out a 22 mile loop. And then we missed a turn that was poorly marked and realized the loop would be more like 20 miles. I had an internal freakout/moment of frustration. I had been counting down miles and now you're saying my count is wrong?! 2 miles is like a 10% difference and that's a big difference and it's less than I biked last week and now I'm not building fitness and I'm going to die if I ever register for a triathlon omg life is terrible.

This is the dumbest train of thought ever. I know. I know the difference between 20 and 22 miles is not an issue. I know I could handle 2 more miles. I know. But I'm a control freak and we're not! sticking! to! the! plan!

Exhibit B (ps. I just typed "Exhibit Be" which sounds like an existential art display): swimming last night. I wanted to do 50 minutes/~2500 yards. I had already completed the first 500 in 9 minutes and was on track for 9 minutes for the second 500 when they had to close the lane for lessons. You can imagine the huffing and puffing that occurred. Luckily I am pretty good at internalizing my irrational irritation and smiled at the swim lesson instructor and moved to another lane. But I had lost a minute! And now my timing would be off! And my best laid plans were falling to pieces and I might as well give up and go home.

I wish I was exaggerating, but I really thought about just calling it a day 12 minutes into my swim.

Instead I sucked it up, made up the lost minute, and finished strong (2500 yards included 5 x 50 sprints on the ~0:47. Death.). I tried to file this away in my catalog of "things that felt like a catastrophe but really really were not."

I'm like this with everything. Kinks in my plan make me anxious. I've tried hard to minimize this anxiety but instead I tend to get wrapped up in the feelings and end up with a racing heart and clenched jaw. I'm the life of the party.

Sometimes it rains on a long run day. (I secretly love this because then I have an excuse to run on the treadmill. I'm lame).

Sometimes the pool is crowded.

Sometimes work runs late or the air conditioner breaks (true story, if I disappear it's because I died in the 110 degree heat index) or an errand needs to be run.

It will be ok. Seriously.

Friday, June 15, 2012


As I discussed earlier in the week, marathon training is in the forefront of my mind again. And with training comes my most/least favorite thing... routine. I love making plans! At the beginning of the week I try and write down the meal/workout/to-do list plan for Nick and me for the week. But then, sometimes I feel like the "Run" listed for Tuesday and Thursday just hangs over my head... I guess I love having a plan, but I hate actually executing it? The funny thing is, I didn't really want to run yesterday, but I know if something else had gotten in the way of running, I would have been beyond irritated. I'm silly like that.

Speaking of running- yesterday's run was a bit of a surprise. I did a four mile out and back that Nick and I have done several times. This is the one that includes an enormous downhill from mile 1.75-2, and therefore an enormous uphill from mile 2-2.25. Blech. My mile times were:
7:50 (huge downhill, but still warms my heart)
8:27 (legs tired)
8:00 for the last 0.4

I know I say this a lot but I'm not speedy. Not even a little bit. But somehow, the stars aligned and I was kinda fast for those 4 miles. Even my "tired legs" mile was almost as fast as most of my 5ks. The weather was nice, traffic cooperated, and I was alone so I just wanted to be done.
I wore my most obnoxious colored shorts and shoes. Since I ran alone I wanted Nick to be able to identify my body if I got hit by a car. I'm the best girlfriend ever. Also I swear my shorts fit...

Speaking of 5Ks, there's a local one after work 2 weeks from yesterday. I think that's a neat time of day for a race.

Now for the weekend- where things are the opposite of routine. Nick and I are swimming today (he's injured and running hasn't felt great for him lately), maybe a run tomorrow? I also need to get to work on a marathon training schedule and plan for a road trip in 2 weeks. Fun stuff.

Thursday, June 14, 2012


So sporadic updates make it harder to do thorough updates. Lame. Let's see...

Last week I ran a couple times (I think) and went on a ~21 mile bike ride with Nick. He adjusted the brakes on our bikes and it makes a world of difference. Also? Padded shorts? Miracle invention. For real. They make riding long(er) distances totally doable. I wish I remembered more about the runs but they were pretty uneventful. Friday I biked with my dad for about 12 miles to see if I can keep up with him (he's a legit biker, has a fancy bike, does 50 milers like it's nothing). I sort of kept up with him. He had me try drafting which was scary and mentally challenging. He bikes with a group that's about 40 minutes from where we live, which is inconvenient but doable. I dunno if I'm ready to ride with the big guys, especially on my aging mountain bike, but we'll see. I know to do a half Ironman in the next year or so (you know, because throwing around the idea of a half Ironman is something NORMAL PEOPLE DO) I need to ride a lot more. And get a new bike. And I also want a kayak. Life is hard.

Saturday Nick and I went to an Orioles game and had a great time. We ate/drank at Alewife in Baltimore... getting a recommendation to go to this place was the best thing that has ever happened to us. They have an insane beer selection, ridiculously good food (chipotle mayo. on everything), and a super cute interior. We both had IPA flights (a bar that lets you have a flight of ONLY IPAs wins at everything) and discovered new beers we're loving- Hop Head Red for Nick and Lagunitas Lucky 13 for me. So good.
Then we watched a baseball game and looked ridiculous. The usual.

Sunday was our anniversary (aww) so Nick surprised me with sushi dinner and tickets to see Kimbra, The Kooks, and Foster the People. I don't think I've been to a live show in over a year, so maybe I'm biased, but this was the best combination of bands I've ever seen and Foster the People put on the best show. Ever ever ever. The lead singer seemed so genuinely happy to be there, I might have fallen a little in love with how humble and grateful he seemed to be. Oh and we were in the "second" row (the pit was in front of us, second row of seats) so we could see the stage really well (and when Kimbra finished her fun set, she stood in the pit like 3 feet from us and sweetly signed autographs). Foster the People had a super cool backdrop (the sun's face changed during the song, an astronaut popped out of it at one point and started blowing bubbles). Their set was also really well put together, the songs flowed well into one another and the energy levels rose and fell perfectly. Oh, and in addition to the bubbles, there were also paper airplanes, a marching band, 10 foot tall inflatable figures, and confetti. It was in. sane. I've never had that much fun at a show. I know it sounds like rainbows and unicorns were involved, but I cannot say enough good things. So glad Nick had that idea!!

This picture tries to capture the insanity but fails.

We also took Monday off and relaxed a lot.. and got super lost coming home from DC because I am unable to follow GPS directions. Bleh. We saw Snow White and the Hunstmen (beautiful movie but I'm a major Kristen Stewart hater).

Tuesday I jumped back into the work/workout grind. 6.5 miles on the treadmill because it was raining. Yesterday Nick and I did a seemingly neverending 26 mile bike ride on a trail. Perfect weather, great hydration and snacks.. and we were still majorly spent by the time it was done. Today will be 4ish miles... outside because running near roadkill builds character.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Big “T” Training and OBX Part 2

It’s that time again… marathon training pondering time. Ugh. I feel like I’ve been in training for something in my mind continuously forever. Marathon last year. Unofficial 5k “training.” Half marathon. I tend to rebel when it’s what I call big “T” Training, something with a set schedule and required progression and all that. Last year I took a lot of runs off from my schedule because I was “listening to my body.” Ha. I was lazy and unwilling to run in the heat. End of story. I did have nagging aches and pains, but nothing that stuck with me throughout. I definitely could have pushed harder and probably seen a faster time. Note: I do not regret ANYTHING about Marine Corps last year. The race itself was so mind-blowingly good, I cannot really imagine how it would have been if I had a real time goal. Just finishing it was more than enough for me. Also- I was SUPER DUPER anemic last year, and my pace reflected that. It is night and day when you compare this year to last as far as my fitness abilities as well as capabilities- I’m just way better at running this year.
So yeah. Training might be easier this year since I'm feeling much better, but mentally? Still not my thing. Another 5 days a week of running, 18 week plan? Oof. Nick also doesn't really want to do 5 days a week, we're both definitely more comfortable with 3 days and some cross training- although I would most likely end up doing 4 days, 2 cross training and 1 total rest. It's summer. I'd like to be able to kayak and bike and hike without sacrificing training. And we're really active otherwise too...

Long story short, I'm waffling about jumping into another program in early July to prepare for a November marathon. So here's some more Outer Banks pictures!
Nick and I defying gravity on the Big Bounce. It's a bouncy castle mixed with a trampoline and it is so crazy fun. Our cabin was a lot like the ones in the background. On stilts, just in case the tide rose 8 feet... which actually happens in the Outer Banks and would terrify me.
My toes were green all weekend. I like it.
This lovely photo (I swear I am wearing shorts. They're just pretty short) shows the burn I got on my legs from bike shorts. Nick and I did 19 miles or so on Saturday morning and it was awesome... except for the halfway point when we turned around and realized we'd been biking with a tailwind for >9 miles. And had to go home. Blech.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Outer Banks Part 1

Nick and I went to the Outer Banks, to stay at a KOA campground in Rodanthe, NC. We left Friday morning(ish) and only went for a couple days but it was still an interesting experience. Spoiler alert: there was beer, sunburn, and bug bites. And food.

We "went with" a group of friends/coworkers. One guy organized it and chose the campground, but we were really pretty independent. There were 4 couples, Nick and I included, and for the most part, 2 of them were more focused on getting in culture/sightseeing, while Nick and I and the other couple were mostly focused on relaxing sans agenda. This focus was apparent on our way down....

I had wanted to leave on Friday "early" but then we stayed up until midnight doing trip preparation stuff and I was stressed out and grumpy and ignored the 7:30 wakeup until after 8. Nick and I got in a quick (as in short... not quick... very slow) 3.5 miles, showered, loaded up the car, and hit the road around 10:30. I had made sandwiches for us so we could make the 6 hour drive as quickly as possible (thanks, Mom, for teaching me about how much time it saves to eat in the car... stopping for lunch is really not necessary). We made it quickly to our first stop....

We did not actually intend to do a brewery tour of far Eastern NC, but we did. Nick found the Weeping Radish online and we stopped there. They also had adorable goats outside. And freshly butchered meat inside... I chose not to make any connection between those 2.

We had a beer sampler and a soft pretzel. Most of the beer was delicious from the tap, and they sold bottles of it too.

Me, with the famous Weeping Radish. I cuddled him, tried to find the cause of his weeping, but no dice. He's just a weepy guy. With a top hat and clothes. We bought some IPA for the road for the weekend. The hops is grown in North Carolina. That is neat.

Second spoiler alert: I don't know how to keep my skirt up, so my tummy is pretty much always hanging out. Sorry. 

Our next stop was the Wright Brothers Memorial which is SO COOL.

It did not look like that when we were there. But it is a lovely monument. We wandered around the museum for a while before heading to our next destination: the Outer Banks Brewing Station. I wish I could say nicer things about this place... I really do. Their brown ale was really, really good. So good that we bought a growler of it. They're also the first wind driven brewery in the US! I love me some energy conservation...but we got there around happy hour time, and although there were maybe 8 employees, 5 of those behind the bar, we got our beer sampler, water and then nothing else! A manager type checked in with us after we'd been there for 30 minutes or so, but we had missed our window to eat an appetizer without screwing up our dinner appetites, so we just had some beer and left. I actually think our waitress was ignoring us, she NEVER checked back in. Major bummer.

We then headed to the campground to settle in... more pictures and updates to come!