Thursday, January 29, 2009

Sleepless in Oregon

I arrived in Oregon last night at 8pm.  It took about an hour to get my luggage and drive all the way to Wilsonville to the hotel.  I slept as much as possible on the plane as I had an entire row to myself in the United economy plus seats(extra leg room).  Flying a bazillion times last year got me to their Premier status so it makes flying this year with them a breeze. I checked in without incident although there was a weird question during check-in on their monitor.  I guess you buy airline miles for cash.  It seems totally weird though since well airline miles really don't help with anything.  I could've got 6K miles for $200.  The really funny thing was the default button press on the kiosk would've been purchase.  Luckily, I was somewhat coherent and pressed "decline".

Since I slept a little on the plane, I was somewhat rested when I hit the bed at 10PM.  Well I woke up at 2:30AM and really couldn't get back to sleep.  Oh well, I have tons of work to do so I just got up at 3AM.  I thought about doing an hour on the indoor exercise bicycle at the gym but decided skip it.  My first run in 8 days will be happening this afternoon.  The knee is feeling better but it's still there.  I can almost guarantee that I'm going to have a sore knee this entire season.  Crap!  Totally lame.  I guess my running future is just destined to be injury prone.  I've contemplated going back to the super cushion Nike Air Max shoes from my early running years.  Basically sacrifice stability for cushion.  I don't know overall it just sucks.  Maybe running will make it stronger.

The only other great thing about flying these days is since I'm cheap it's like a built-in super diet day.  I brought a breakfast bar for the flight and skipped lunch and dinner.  That with the can of Sprite(caffeine free baby!) was only 270 calories.  I had some cereal for breakfast so I think I probably ate about 700 calories yesterday.  I know I have enough fat reserves to keep me fueled.  I know there will be lots of eating this trip with the Super Bowl, a lunch at the Claim Jumper, Blazer game and for sure at least one movie it's good to start with a calorie deficit.  Just call me Mr. Crash Diet.

I watched that movie, 21 the other day.  It was a very interesting movie.  I love gambling and I do like math so it was perfect for a geek like me.  I think I might try a card counting system in my blackjack playing the next time I go to Vegas.  It's pretty easy to memorize the standard playing blackjack system and counting cards isn't that hard since it's just +1 or -1.  You combine the two and you basically tweak the standard system a little when the count is in your favor.  You still have to get lucky here and there but it's nice to have just a slight advantage.  Although craps is the still the game to rake in the money on but you need some hot shooters or really cold shooters.  Plus Vegas is an eating paradise, I'm definitely hitting the Bellagio buffet this next trip no matter the cost.  I wonder if they'll kick you out after so many hours.

Well back to work for me...

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Snow and sore

Well, we're getting our first real snow of the year.  Perfect the weather turns to crap the day before I'm expected to fly out to Oregon.  It's suppose to turn to freezing rain tonight so hopefully by 5pm tomorrow it will all be cleaned up so I can get out of here on time.  Most of the schools around here didn't even bother with opening today.  I thought this was the east coast manhood snow country where nothing shuts down unless it's over a foot.  It seems just like Oregon in just a little snow shuts down the schools even though it's cold all the time.

I just saw this news story.

Senate passes bill to delay digital TV switch 

Are you kidding me? Really we have to delay this stupid TV switch?  What all the old ladies that absolutely would be lost without TV haven't gotten their free converter for their 20" tube TV.  Too many trailer parks, not able to figure out what all those dumb commercials mean?  I wonder how much tax money has been spent on this campaign and subsidy program.  It's like TV is a given right.  It goes "the right to bear arms", "the right to free speech", and "the right to watch free TV"?!?!?  Okay enough of that...but I'm sure comedians around the country are incorporating this stuff into their acts as we speak.

It's been 6 days with no running and the knee is still sore.  I really can't tell because my job doesn't require me to leave my chair.  I think I walk maybe 10 feet to the bathroom and if I need something in the kitchen its like 20 feet.  I've been icing it a lot and sleeping with it elevated.  It seems I always get injured right before going to Oregon.  Maybe it's my own ego trying to push myself into top shape in order to keep with the running folks when I arrive.  I used to dish out the pain but now I'm only on the receiving end of it.  I was hoping this trip would be different but probably not.

I'm finally caught with my rest because all of sudden I don't feel dead at 4:30AM anymore.  I was able to get up today no problem even though I couldn't get to sleep until 10pm for some reason.  This is my 2nd day in a row swimming.  It's been going okay although my lower back hurts for some reason.  Probably all the sitting for work...

I've been watching that Man V. Food show on the Travel channel.  I just wanted to see how bad it was or build up some additional hate for the guy that stole the idea.  Well, the show isn't too bad and definitely helps in seeing the food first hand.  It's hit or miss with this guy though.  He failed miserably at the breakfast taco challenge but totally destroyed the 72 oz steak.  The steak was quite impressive.  He demolished it in 30 minutes.   He also almost beat the 8 lb. Sasquatch burger.  He's pretty good with the hot food challenges which I wouldn't even come near.  All in all the show is decent and he's actually doing a Portland, Oregon show where he attempts a hot food challenge at Salavador Molly's.  I guess they have these super hot cheese fritters.  After watching the show, it definitely gets me excited to attempt some of those challenges.  I hope he attempts the Ben & Jerry's Vermonster although since it's not a real challenge he might not.  I see previews of some big massive ice cream sundae in the commercials but no specifics.  He is doing the 5 24oz milkshake challenge which should be quite interesting.

Maybe this summer, I'll get Orion and I to make the trek to one or two of these places on the east coast.  I need to find someway to spend my tax refund.  I did my taxes and that mortgage interest is awesome.  Thank you federal government for taking that right off the top.  I'm rolling in the biggest fed refund I've ever had.  Sure it's my money but I like nice lump sums since my money just sits in a checking account.  It doesn't earn interest.  I know I should figure something out but CDs are even earning crappy interest these days so why bother.  I mean that whole $50 in yearly interest just wouldn't be worth it.  Anyway, that fed refund is going to pay for my new Macbook when I finally get it next month.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Sore knee

Yep, it's happened the first injury requiring time off from running.  Stupid foot caused my gait to change just enough plus the first 12 miler of the year hurt my good knee.  The other thing was the entire 12 miles was on sidewalks which I didn't think about until later.  The weird thing was I didn't know I had a problem.  I finished the run and I was a little tired but my knee wasn't sore.  I just happened to take Monday off because it was extra cold that morning and I was tired.  On top of that I figured a day off wasn't a bad thing.  On Tuesday morning when I started to run to the gym I immediately noticed my knee was tender.  I'm expert as when I was in high school I had a partially torn meniscus in my right knee but I ran through it for at least a year.

After the run home, I went into denial.  It didn't hurt too bad so some ice and I'd be ready for the hill workout on Wednesday.  WRONG!  I did the hill workout but it hurt.  My legs are really coming around though but man the knee hurt.  So here I sit after a pre-planned day off yesterday(business travel), taking today off.  I have Elena this weekend so there's two more built in running days off.  That will be 4 days off.  That's not bad at all considering it is still early in the season.  The only bummer is today happens to be a nice 45 degree expected high day.  I haven't run in 45 degree weather since that one day in early December.  That really sucks because at the beginning of the week I was looking forward to actually sweating on a run.

Maybe if it gets warm enough today, I'll take the bike out on the road.  Now that would be something, but 45 and sunny still is pretty cold on the bike.  I could've adapted to the ultimate cold weather and maybe it will feel like 65 degrees but I doubt it.  Who knows maybe I'll venture it.

I'm frantically trying to get things together on the work side for my big trip to Oregon so I can actually do fun things on the weekends I happen to be there but it's not coming together as fast as I would like.  I'll probably be doing the typical 12 hour days when I arrive in hopes of staying out of the office on the weekend.  I do have a nice group run planned for Super Bowl Saturday.  I'm hopeful the knee will be fine by that time.  I think if I can get it feeling okay by mid next week I should be good to go.

I survived inauguration.  Since I didn't have to go anywhere, it wasn't bad at all.  I overheard a few stories from people that were stranded in the airport and had to fly out yesterday.  I guess there were so many flights leaving Reagan that people couldn't get to their gates because of the backup at check-in and security.  So the airport was pretty busy for a Thursday morning but I always get to the airport extra early just in case.  I'm all about hurry up and wait.  On top of that there were stories about not actually being able to get to the mall to watch the inauguration due to backup at security checkpoints.  Everyone was saying there were tons of people in the streets during the inauguration that couldn't get into the mall area.  Cell towers were totally overload as people were saying it took up to 10 times to get a connection from their cell.  Pretty wild stuff.

Monday, January 19, 2009

It's warm

Well at least it's freezing or 32 degrees here now.  I ran inside on the treadmill Friday because the wind chill was below zero and I just didn't feel like hitting another PCW(personal cold weather) run.  I wanted to try out the onsite condo fitness center.  I walked over to the fitness center in just sweats and about froze to death.  I was only outside for like 2 minutes.  Brutal.

The treadmill was pretty narrow but overall a nice run and the 42" TV was right in front of it so bonus.  It was pretty cold in the little room but no big deal as running on a treadmill always warms you up.  I did my 5 measly miles and stopped.  There is enough room to setup my indoor cycling trainer so I might have to do that during the spring if it rains.  I don't want to bother my downstairs neighbors.  Last year, I didn't have anyone below me so it was no problem going to town on the trainer in the condo.  Now I think I have nurses below me which work different shifts and usually are home during the work day so no trainer in the condo.

On Saturday, I woke up with a mission.  I was going to run to the gym for swimming and spinning no matter the temperature.  It was 5 degrees when I left but no wind.  I was warm for about 10 steps.  Everything was cold about 5 minutes into the run.  I started pushing just a little trying to warm up.  I kept singing that stupid Subway commercial as I thought about being out in "5" degree weather.  I only had to suffer for just under 25 minutes so I knew I could make it.  The run home was easier as I was warmer and the sun was out.  It was probably 10 degrees on the return trip.  Either way, it was an all new PCW and I'm mentally tougher because of it.

On Sunday, I woke up to 30 degree weather.  Sweet, my long run would be at just around freezing.  There was no sun but also the wind wasn't bad.  I dressed pretty warm and started the run.  It felt so warm.  25 degree difference will do that I guess.  I had a decent run and my legs didn't start feeling tired until the end.  It was the longest run of the winter for me at 12.5 miles.  I averaged a nice 7:30 pace so I was pleased.  My foot injury from last spring has come back but I'm aggressively icing it so it didn't bother me much during the run.  I have no idea what caused the inflammation this time.  I think it's my shoes wearing down.  They only have 320 something miles on them but I just can't pinpoint it because it started last week during a mild 25 mile week.

I arrive in Oregon next Thursday and I'll buy a new pair or two while I'm there.  I'm hoping that will knock out the pain.  I'm also excited that I pulled the trigger on a new Macbook Pro this weekend.  I decided to go with the 17" for the increase screen size and resolution.  I figured since I'm going to keep this laptop for at least 5 years might as well go with that.  It's only 1 lb heavier than the 15 inch so I think that's worth it.

Okay, I've been meaning to blog about this major topic for awhile but I kept forgetting(old age).  What do people do with those small soap slivers?  I have a few of them now because I feel like throwing them away is wasteful but what to do.  Should I try to mold all them into a soap sculpture that resembles a bar of soap?  I'm waiting to see one of the Billy Mays gadgets for creating new bars from existing soap slivers or that Ronco guy coming out with a machine that I can buy for $19.95 + shipping and handling.  Those commercials have even gotten more over the top and deviant these days.  Now they say they are going to throw in 2 miracle scratch removers just for the price of one and shipping and handling charges.  You see those charges are just as expensive as the advertised price.  On top of that they probably send it via the slowest shipping ever.  What type of delivery takes 4-6 weeks in the real world anymore?  Even the USPS smart post takes like a week.

Also after watching all the NFL playoff games this weekend, I couldn't help but laugh at those Play60 NFL commercials.  They say 1 in 3 kids is obese and the NFL is trying to stop this by these camps.  I think 1 in 3 NFL head coaches is obese.  Is the NFL trying to do anything about that?  Geez, did you see Andy Reid on Sunday?  He's easily as big as that guy in Seven, gluttony.  The other unintentional comedy with those commercials is the kid who says Eli taught him how to throw and then they show all the kids throwing the football.  I think most of those kids threw a better ball than Eli did last Sunday in Giant's stadium.  Poor Giants fans especially after the Cardinals showed that the Eagles just weren't that good.

Friday, January 16, 2009


That about sums up the entire winter here in DC.  Just cold.  Yesterday was an all time personal cold weather(PCW) run for me outside.  It was 20 degrees with a wind chill of 10.  The only benefit was sunshine which made it feel well refrigerator cold not freezer cold.  I ran a meager 5 miles but running into the wind was quite painful on the bare face.  I could've setup a treadmill inside a walk-in freezer and it would've been warmer.

I did my best to wear as many running clothes as I own.  I had all my running clothes laying in the sun from the big bay windows in the living room to "pre-warm" them for the run.  Here's a rundown of my attire:
Legs and family jewels: shorts, running tights, running sweats(fleece lined)
Torso/arms: polypro t-shirt, polypro long sleeve, fleece running jacket
Hands: Defeet wool gloves and just simple knit running gloves on top
Head: running beanie although I probably should've dug out my cycling balaclava
Feet: Socks and shoes

I've been running in 30 something degree weather since late November it feels like so I've adapted somewhat to the cold.  It felt like I was running 35 degree weather as I was cold but I wasn't going into hypothermia.  Obviously, the wind chill was brutal.  My lips started to freeze towards the end which isn't much fun.  I'm mentally tougher for braving the elements.  It reminds me of all those 45 and raining Oregon runs I did when I was there but now I have 35 and raining runs here plus yesterday's doosy of a cold one.

I was blaming the pilgrims and the founding fathers as I ran.  I mean really no wonder a bunch of the pilgrims died in the winter.  It was frickin cold.  Why didn't they just keep sailing along the shore SOUTH?!?!  Or why didn't our founding fathers decide hey it's real nice in Florida, let's put the capital there.  They're smart enough to come up with cool democracy but can't realize that a bunch of people have to suffer in the god awful winter cold and the god awful humid summer heat.  Morons!!

Right now, it's 7 degrees outside with a wind chill of -7.  I'm debating on skipping the run today although another 5 miler would be good for the legs just not sure how the rest of my body would handle this cold.  I could hit up the local treadmill but 5 miles on it is pretty boring although it seems like I keep reading people busting out 17 miles and even one guy running 3 hours and a complete marathon on one.  It might not be bad to take a day off though because my sore foot from last year is bugging me again.  It was weird because my "good" foot had that weird pain and then all of sudden it went away and the "bad" foot had the old pain from last year back.  It's hard to ice because well it feels cold all the time.

I'm still skimping on my electricity bill by leaving the heat off during the evening.  The heat pump would run all night at these temperatures just to maintain 62 degrees in the condo.  I'm plenty warm under my super goose feather comforter.  I think that it has to be rated for at least 45 degrees.  I was nice and toasty when I woke up today even though the thermostat said 53.  Again luckily the sun is out because of the big south windows in the living and dining room I get free heat from that.  Even with the limited heat pump use, I'm sure my electricity bill is going to be quite high.  Probably mid 100s at least...ugh!  Oh well, I looked at my finances and right now I'm actually saving money each month.

The 17" vs. 15" Macbook Pro debate continues in my head.  5.5 lbs vs. 6.6 lbs for portability?  Native 1440x900 screen vs. 1900x1200 screen?  2.8Ghz vs. 2.66Ghz for the same price?  8 hour battery vs. 5 hour?  It seems to coming down to availability in the recesses of my mind because I need to get it when I'm in Oregon to save the sales tax.  Right now, it looks like the 17" might come out the first of February.  This is smack dab in the middle of my trip so that helps but it's the unknown that maybe it gets delayed.  Either way it's going to be my tax refund spent.  I'm hoping I get a tax refund since mortgages are good for taxes right?

How about that plane vs. flock of birds crash yesterday?  Crazy considering I'm ready to get on one of those US Airways regional jets next Thursday for a day trip to Raleigh, North Carolina.  At least everyone made it but man it must've been cold getting out into that water and plus all your carry-on luggage maybe lost or damaged.  Not fun!

Stay warm...and Al Gore I'm thinking Ice Age not Global Warming!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

No motivation

I don't know what it is but I just can't get motivated in this cold weather.  I was listening to the wind gusting last night and decided not to go to the gym.  I just see no fun in running to the gym in 20 degree weather with 20 mph winds just to swim 30 minutes before taking the spin class.  Sure, I could drive but the amount of time is the same basically and I don't get a nice run.  It's a 10 minute drive because of lights and traffic on way home while just being a 22 minute run.  Sure I stay warm but the only benefit is swimming and the spin class.

I've started rationalizing my lack of motivation.  It's really the cold weather.  If it was even 40 something this morning, I would've made the trek.  So what's this all mean, well my swimming is currently taking a back seat in training.  I've plateaued at 1:50s for the 100 it seems right now.  I have all kinds of form problems but I also have strength issues as well.  It just hurts to pull a bunch of water.  It's similar on the bike, it hurts to turn bigger gears fast.  Everyone says if you can run fast but you swim slow it's your form.  I have to agree.  I saw this lady at the pool just cruising along at 1:40 or so.  I looked at her form at the end of my workout to see if I could notice anything.  Nothing really jumped out except just a smooth stroke and a very small profile.  She was also flip turning which is about 5 seconds.  After all that blah blah, the basics in my head are why suffer the cold and swim more when it just won't help.  When it's warmer, I'll feel better about running in the morning to the pool.

Now the spin class is a whole different story.  My cycling is so non-existent spin class or not it just won't matter.  I think maybe I should setup the trainer but nah.  I'm going to experiment with really no cycling through the winter and see if my May half will suffer. It shouldn't right?  I mean it's only biggest percentage of time during a half ironman of all the three disciplines and being tired after it really sets you up for a great run.  Assuming by great, I mean walking the run course a bunch.  Oh god, I'm screwed!!

The good news is my running.  Surprised?  Probably not since it's my strength and I've been putting in a lot of training.  Yesterday, in the middle of my 6ish mile run I saw a little hottie running towards me at a nice clip.  I waved as I do with all runners coming in the opposite direction not just hotties but she ignored me.  So me being a little petty decided to see if I could catch her.  She had a 300 meter head start so I upped my pace quite a bit from just relaxing to pushing.  Unfortunately, she turned around at the next intersection before I could catch her.  I waved again as we passed and still nothing.  Incensed in anger at a 2nd dis, I pressed forward.

Nah, I wasn't angry.  It's pretty normal.  I wave at all runners fast or slow and I probably get a return wave or acknowledgment about 50% of the time.  It's quite low when you think about it.  A wave while running requires almost no effort.  I also wave on the bike and my return rate is about 30% but that's understandable because it does require some effort.  There's no waving in swimming.  Waving is for wimps.  It's all business!!

Luckily, I have mile markers all mapped out for this run.  I was surprised to see a 6:24 mile.  I just ready to be disappointed with what felt to be a good pace to be a slow 6:55 or so.  It still felt hard for 6:24 as I thought back to my running heyday when I could run 6:30s in my sleep especially on such a flat course.  Now the next mile has a little hill in it and it's really the only long hill close to me, I was able to run a 6:37.  This felt good as I really didn't slow down much.  It's still January so this is okay.  To quote Herm Edwards the former Kansas City Chiefs head coach, "We can build on this."

Since I skipped all the morning festivities, I'll be doing my hard workout for the week.  30 second bursts followed by 30 seconds of rest, fartleks for you runners out there.  I'm hoping that this will help my leg turnover(speed).  Overall, this is a pretty easy workout.  It's not like one of those killer late spring fartleks where you do 3 minute on and 90 seconds off but it's a good start.

Another thing going pretty well is the diet.  The nasty junk food is out due to me not buying it.  I'm going back to my standard diet of rice, protein, pasta, and more rice.  My old Endurox buckets are filled with 25 lbs of rice waiting to be devoured.  Hopefully, this will keep the weight steady until the weather gets warmer and major cycling work begins.

The brighter side of the winter training is coming up as I travel back to Oregon for business.  I'm hoping for some mild Oregon weather 40s or maybe 50s would be awesome.  Of course, the old running partners will be ready to hurt me.  I can see some brutal jaunts through the countryside.  Another benefit of going to Oregon is no sales tax.  This trip the plan is get a Macbook Pro.  Probably the 15".

The 17" could be interesting but it might be just too big.  I'm finally abandoning Microsoft.  I decided back in September when XP just basically slowed to a crawl again on my computer.  I had already done a brand new clean install when it happened in early 2007.  I just got fed up.  Plus with Apple you can still run XP if you need to.  Combine that with video editing I would like to do Apple is an easy choice.  I've only waited this long as I just wasn't sure between desktop IMac or laptop.  Based on the new laptop updates, it will be enough horsepower to run the video editing but with that added portable convenience.  Anyway by avoiding sales tax, I'm going to save around 200 dollars.  On top of that I'll be hip when I go to coffee shops with my Macbook.  Okay, poser is more accurate.

Another interesting side point of owning an Apple, is being able to get on the IPhone App gravy train.  I just have to come up with some cool 99 cent app that at least a million IPhone users will want and voila...millionaire.  I'm sure it's that easy.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Another swim workout

I made it through my 100 on, 100 off swim workout..barely.  It was quite hard at the end and took a lot of focus just to keep my form.  In running, you slow down a little as your form gets wacky from being tired but in swimming you slow down A LOT.   It was okay for a workout with my times being pretty mediocre as compared to workouts prior to the Ironman.  Yes another Ironman reference!!

Now my swim on Saturday was pretty good.  I was able to swim 2200 yards at a good clip for me even with sharing the lane off and on.  If I can get just a little faster in the water at Florida, I should have a decent chance of going under 5.  I have massive run goals at Florida though so we'll see how it all goes.

It's going to be another cold week so I'm still dormant when it comes to cycling.  A steady diet of two spin classes a week is hopefully just keeping a slight cycle fitness.  I'll probably start battling the coldness in February no matter what but I'm such a cold wimp.

So enough about my sad existence and on to my daughter, Elena.  I took her to an ice skating birthday party on Saturday.  One of her friends likes to skate so there were about 10 or so 7 year olds on the ice.  It was Elena's first time on skates.  She and another friend slide around the rink holding onto the wall the first time.  I got a few pictures and video that I posted on my Facebook profile.  I told her to try moving around the rink without holding onto the wall.  She was worried but decided to try it.  After a few times around she didn't want to stop for cake or even to go home.  She was totally addicted.  She wanted to go back on Sunday to skate some more.  She was actually able to move around the ice without holding on or falling much the last few times.

I think the best part was she felt such a sense of accomplishment because she did it herself without help.  A few of her other friends never tried and she was so glad that she did.  It's definitely great to see her try something on her own as she's has been pretty apprehensive up to this point.  She's becoming a little more independent which is cool.  She's growing up.

On eating news, I made it through Costco Saturday night without buying a big bag of Doritos.  They were sitting right there and I abstained. The diet is in full effect.  No more caffeine or chips until after May.  I'll cut out beer but I rarely drink so that's not a problem at all.  It's time to trim it down.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Big Weekday

It was major.  I had to go to jury duty and the condo association's first meeting.  This is huge amount of out and about for me.  My typical weekday is I get up leave on my pajamas and start work.   I work til about noon and then change into workout clothes to run.  After the run, I shower and then put my PJs back on as I don't need to leave the condo so why actually get dressed.

Yesterday, I had to get up, shower and get dressed.  This hasn't happened in a long time.  I can't even remember the get out of bed shower in the past year at home.  It just doesn't happen. I walked over to the bus stop instead of trying to drive to the courthouse.  They had free parking but why bother.  I just sit on a bus for 30 minutes and pay $1.35 one way or get in the Escape for 20 minutes and burn through a gallon of gas for the whole trip.  I'm lazy and try not to drive at all costs so I went bus.

I got to the courthouse a little early so I went over to the nearest Starbucks.  They have officially finished the holiday menu so I went for my usual decaf drip Venti.  I sat and tried to dry out from the bus stop to Starbucks walk.  It was pouring and a whopping 36 degrees more on the weather later.

We sat through a dumb orientation video and then waited for our number to be called.  I was 110 and my number wasn't called til the last group at around 10:45.  We went to the courtroom and sat for 5 minutes, the case settled, and we went back to the jury holding area.  That was the last case so we got to go home right afterwards.  I didn't even bother staying around for some stupid jury certificate and just left.  At least I don't have to go through that again for at least 3 years.

I got back and it had stopped raining.  Great, maybe I'd stay dry for my first structured running workout since August, hill repeats.  I had to sit in on a conference call and by the time I made my way outside it was raining.  Oh joy, raining and 36 degrees.  I sucked it up and proceeded to attempt a warmup to a hill.  It's not really hilly around here so I did my best to find a decent one.  I tried 3 separate hills.  The first one was hard but too short.  The second one was even shorter than first and on top of that easier.  The third and final hill was long enough with a gradual increase in steepness.  Voila perfect for today.  I did 3 repeats on it and 5 in total.  I felt super fast even though my legs were beet red.  I ran out of long pants so I was in shorts.  I'd probably overheat in Oregon these days as it wasn't super bad.

Later last night, I walked over to a local restaurant where the first condo association meeting was being held.  Almost half of the current residents turned out to vote on the board members.  The builder who still holds 26 units had a majority so it really didn't matter what we wanted, he ruled.  At least he was fair but still it was pretty weird that he didn't let us know about that little tidbit of information before the meeting as it could've maybe drove more participation.

So between two bus rides, a room full of jurors and the condo meeting, I saw more people than yesterday than any one day in the past 6 months at home.  The big day must've made me tired because I didn't feel like waking up at 4:30 to do my standard run, swim, spin, run workout.  I think I may have gotten lucky those because all the wet roads froze over night so it could've been a treacherous run on the dark sidewalks.  I'll do my best to force myself out of bed tomorrow even though the temperature will probably be about 25 degrees.  Did I mention how much I hate winter over here?

Monday, January 5, 2009

Rice Shortage 2009

Yes, it's true.  I'm out of rice.  I can't believe it.  I bought a 10 lb. bag in early September.  I had to scrape together 2 cups last night via all the little bits left in the bottom of my rice containers.  I use my old cytomax and endurox buckets to hold my rice.  I'm going to buy a 25 lb. bag this weekend when I hit Costco.  That should last me until the big May race.

Work starts today for a lot of people who have been slacking for 2 weeks.  That must be tough.  I just took a 4 day weekend and I was just getting used to not doing anything each day.  I've already accomplished a lot so far during the 2 extended weekend vacations.  I've watched all of season 2 of the X-files.  Although I was robbed as season 2 ends with a "to be continued".  I wish I had known so I would've just had the season 3 first disk in the mail.  Everytime I see one of those Fringe commercials on Fox I just think 2009 version of the X-files with more characters. I finished both season 3 and season 4 of the Office.  That show is just so hilarious.  I guess season 5 is this current year's so at least I'm caught up.  As you can see, I had an uneventful vacation.

Since 2009 is upon us, I've started getting my diet and workouts in line.  First, I will be cutting out the chips again until after the May Half Ironman.  This Costco trip I will be skipping the Doritos Super Size.  I also be cutting out the chicken nuggets and fries with ranch as well for dinners.  I just go back to my standard rice/sausage, rice/chicken, pasta, rice/pork chops, cheese filled tortelli, repeat.  That should help me lose some of the extra holiday weight.

Second, I've started to do a weekly hard swim interval workout and I plan to do a hard running workout per week.  I did 100s this morning.  I was planning on only doing 10 but lost track and did 12.  I tried something different since I only had 30 minutes between running to the gym and spin class.  I did 100s on 2 minute intervals.  I've never done this before but most swimmers do intervals on a fixed time although their fixed times are usually 1:30 or less.  I can't even swim an all-out race 100 in 1:30 so I just used my slow time of 2 minutes.  This gave me a nice 15 second or so rest between each one.  Joy!  They went okay but I was still tired from my swim on Saturday.  I crushed 2000 yards on Saturday.  It was great although I chafed the crap out of my shoulders from rubbing the slight unshaved morning whiskers of my chin.  Anyway, swimming is hanging in and I hope I can keep up with Orion this May.

My running is coming right along as well.  I was able to cruise a 7 minute average for a 9.2 mile run on Sunday.  I felt pretty good the entire way.  The legs didn't feel too heavy at the end but today they were tired.  I went pretty slow to the gym.  The spin class was extra tough today so I thought I was going to pass out on the pedals several times.  The hard swim plus the extra hard spin class really made it a tough run home.  I didn't bring any calories this morning so I was close to bonking.  That's okay it will let me shed a couple of extra pounds.  This Wednesday I start alternating weeks of hill repeats and fartleks.  I think I have a good hill to try but it might be too short.  I'll have to give it a go.  If all goes well, the plan is to really hammer the half marathon.