Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Indignities

Tuesdays with Todd is back. I think listgirl has caught on to the fact that I'll write a blog post for her in exchange for a pat on the head. I may need to reevaluate what I will sell out for. I could start demanding at least a fawning complement of my physique. Or maybe I could demand she brush my teeth for me. If you have a better idea, let me know in the comments. As detailed here, my doctor thinks my running pain comes from an imbalance in muscle strength. I was sent to the physical therapist today in order to assess which muscles needed some extra exercise work. Assess -- I kill myself! As she pushed my legs in ever-weirder directions, I focused on her commentary. "This is pretty tight" didn't bother me so much. I've never been the most flexible dude. But "wow, that's weak" was rather emasculating. I mean really, does she say that to all the guys? Some bedside manner there... I thought I was in China for a minute! I also learned that my right quad is stronger than my left. No idea why that is. Oh yeah, that oh-so-weak muscle? None other than my glut. Yes, I have a weak butt! Who knows what listgirl thinks of my butt in her heart of hearts? (Well, I do, but I'm not telling.) But now she and everyone else reading here will probably think of it in a whole new light. Now I know how Randi felt. Aside from that I gave a talk at Toastmasters today. It was about the theory behind musical rhythm. It was not my tops ever in terms of delivery but I was well-prepared with interesting facts and musical clips. So the response was favorable and I'm satisfied overall. In addition to the technical stuff, I mentioned that humans are uniquely wired to "move to the beat." There are no animals who do that. And in fact infants start doing this, albeit in a very uncoordinated way, at just a few months of age. So Rev. Moore was wrong. We are made to shake our bootys - weak though they may be. I may be the blogger but the picture is not mine. Listgirl went back to aerobics today after spending the last few months in run training. Here is the gym crew. Photobucket

Monday, June 29, 2009

Now What?

My friend at work, Susan, emailed me this morning and told me she said a little prayer for me at the time I was running on Saturday. She checked my time on the RnR Seattle website and was excited that I finished, and in the time I thought I would finish. She asked me to bring my medal tomorrow so I can show my gym class at work. Photobucket Yes, I'm going back to after-work gym class! Susan said she already told our instructor Pam that I'm coming back, LOL. I guess I can't flake out now. :| I've been going to this gym class on and off with Susan since around March 2004. I didn't go during my half marathon training, because I didn't want to have sore legs for Saturday morning long runs. It was probably a mis-conception on my part. Now that I have no race to train for, I can go back and burn some serious calories with interval training. And get sore legs. Because Pam loves to make us do squats and lunges. Todd made a new dish tonight called "Halibut with Coconut-Red Curry Sauce". Photobucket I can't take any credit for this, because I worked late and didn't help him cook. We thought it was pretty good. We've tried cooking halibut several times but it has always turned out not as good as we expected. This was pretty good. Speaking of food, I read an article called "It's Time For a New Relationship with Food" today at ZenHabits.net. This has been on my mind for a while now, so I was intrigued by the article. As I've gotten older and experienced more of life's ups and downs, my relationship with food has gotten more complicated. I eat when I'm happy, I eat when I'm sad. I eat when I'm bored. I eat to socialize. I look at food as a reward sometimes. I need to think about my over-eat triggers and try to find other healthier ways to deal with my emotions. Easier said than done! I've gained 15 lbs since my mom passed away over two years ago. This is not a coincidence and I need to figure out other healthier ways of coping. And rewarding. And feeling good. It's not going to happen over-night. And you'll still see food on this blog, because cutting that out would be crazy-talk. But surely I can eat less, and eat healthier. Come on this journey with me. We'll see where I'm at at the end of the year.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

I Slept Like a Baby

I slept for eight hours last night! I honest can't remember the last time that happened. It felt so good. What was even better was that my legs weren't all that stiff or sore when I got out of bed. :) I want to say a big thank you to all my friends IRL and online who cheered me on and prayed for me the last few days for my race, and also those who have stopped by to wish us a happy wedding anniversary. I am really touched by it all. Anne asked if I liked Wild Ginger, the restaurant that we had dinner at last night, because she had been there on recommendation, just like we were. I thought it was good! I liked that it was downtown and had an urban vibe. We sat at a corner by the windows so we could see the urban setting and people walking by. We had reservations so we didn't have to wait. We had some vegetarian Buddha Rolls to start. Photobucket Then Todd had the Seven Flavor Beef and I had the Seafood Thai Noodles. Photobucket Then we had a baked cherry crisp ala mode for dessert. It was all good, but honestly, I was so tired by the time dinner was halfway over, that I felt like I could just close my eyes and go to sleep! After my good sleep last night, we went next door to Whole Foods Market again this morning for breakfast. Todd got a chai tea latte at the Allegro Espresso Bar inside. Photobucket He got the Belgium Waffle that he was denied two days ago, and I had a vegetarian frittata, which was fresh and delicious. Photobucket After that we pretty much packed up and headed to the airport. I slept some (no crying baby this time) and read some. The coolest view was when the captain announced that we were right over Mt. Hood in Oregon. I looked out the window and saw this. Wow! Photobucket It's good to be home, even though we had a fantastic time in Seattle. It really is a fun city to visit. Oh, here are some of my answers to your questions/comments the last couple of days.
  • Anne commented on waiting for 45 minutes before I even got to the starting line of the half marathon. I must admit it was grueling. When you're ready to go, it is SO hard to wait that long! Plus my feet were already tired before the race started!
  • Peppermint said I've done it, now I can stop running, she gives me permission, LOL. My answer to that is that I *am* starting six months of "goal-less running". Not planning on running any more races the rest of this year. I'll concentrate on a bit more weight-training and cross-training. But I won't stop running. :p
  • AmyJo asked: "Did you run in a cute skort?" Why yes I did! It is a running skirt by Nike, with attached spandex shorts inside. And I do feel quite like a powerful girl in it. :)

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Rocking Seattle!

We left the curtains open when we went to bed last night, and set the alarm for 4:50am. I woke up at 4:30am, because the sun started to rise in Seattle already! Photobucket Seattle's days are so much longer than San Diego. Sun rises before 5:00am, and doesn't set until at least 9:30pm. In San Diego, the sun rises around 5:30am and sets at 8:30pm at this time of the year. I got dressed and got my gear together. Todd walked me down four blocks to the Westin, where the shuttle buses took the runners to the starting line in Tukwila. The lines were really long and went around the block, but I got on a bus after 15 minutes. Photobucket We spent about half an hour in traffic exiting the freeway to the starting line in Tukwila, no joke. Tons of cars stopped on the freeway and runners just streamed out from the cars right there on the freeway and walked down the exit. The traffic was BAD! They need to rethink that next year. After I exited the bus, I went to gear check to drop off my sweater. Photobucket It was still a little chilly but I didn't want to carry my sweater for 13.1 miles, obviously. I ran into Robert and Cassey from West Coast Road Runners, also checking in their gear. I started walking towards my corral, #27, when I saw the really long lines for the porta-potties. Photobucket Good thing I didn't have to go! The orange tag is my ChronoTrack RFID. It is scanned at the starting line, 5k, 10k, 9 mile mark, and at the finish. That is how they know I ran the whole course, and also how I get my actual time, since I didn't cross the starting line until a good 45 minutes after the race gun went off. Photobucket I got into my corral and I was ready to go. Photobucket Unfortunately, it would be an hour before I actually got to the starting line. There were a ton of people behind me too. Photobucket Finally... here we go! Photobucket While waiting in my corral to start was slightly annoying, it was nice to start the race with people who ran the same pace as me. You are assigned a corral based on your estimated finish time when you registered for the race. When I registered in March, I had told them 2:40 for the half marathon. The first band on the course. Photobucket The beginning of the race was not very scenic. It was kind of industrial and then residential. Photobucket Photobucket There were more hills than I had anticipated. The scenery didn't really get good until around mile 6, when we got down to the shores of Lake Washington. Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket The balls of my right foot started to get sore around mile 9. Around 9.2 miles, we had to run almost a mile inside a tunnel. My Garmin had no reception, so I couldn't tell how long I was in there. But the Garmin restarted at the tunnel exit, it just started from the 9.2 miles, so both my mileage and time was way off. I am slightly annoyed that my Garmin wasn't smart enough to extrapolate the difference. After the tunnel, we headed west on I-90 towards downtown Seattle. Photobucket Photobucket Safeco Field came into view (where the Seattle Mariners baseball team play). Photobucket Then Qwest Field, where the NFL Seattle Seahawks football team plays. Photobucket I was so excited that downtown Seattle was getting closer and closer, because my legs were starting to stiffen up. Photobucket Photobucket We made a loop downtown Photobucket before heading south past Qwest Field, then U-turning to go up north on Occidental Drive. Photobucket I am so close! Photobucket I finished, but I didn't know what my time was, because of Garmin tuning out in the tunnel. Photobucket I got my finisher's medal and some food and drinks, before heading to the "V" section (for Victory!) to find Todd. Photobucket I was so happy to finish relatively pain-free! Todd looked up my time on his iPhone and it was 2:40:37. Damn I was good in predicting my time, LOL! We planned to walk back to our hotel, which was two miles away, but after a few blocks we found a taxi. Sweet! After showering, we had lunch next door at Whole Foods Market, then I rested the whole afternoon. We had a nice dinner at Wild Ginger, based on a recommendation from Todd's friend Ashley. Now it's time for bed, because I'm really tired from getting up at 4:30am and running the half marathon! We'll be back in San Diego tomorrow night.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Seattle: Day 2

We woke up around 8:00am today, which I was really excited about. I have a hard time sleeping later than 6:00am at home now, even if I go to bed too late, which is way too often. So I've been feeling tired a lot the last few weeks. I was hoping for more sleep during this trip, and so far so good. Our hotel room helps, since we can draw the shades so it's dark, plus the bed is really plush and comfy. We walked next door to Whole Foods Market for breakfast. I got an egg, sausage, and cheese english muffin sandwich. Photobucket Todd was going to get a Belgium waffle, but they were all out of batter! :( So instead he got a granola, yogurt, and fruit plate. Photobucket After breakfast we took a taxi over to Qwest Field so that we could pick up our race numbers, t-shirt, and goodie bag. Yes, Todd picked up his stuff too, even though he can't run the race due to his IT band injury. Photobucket The view from Qwest Field back to downtown was pretty cool. Photobucket After Qwest Field, we walked to Pioneer Square. On the way there, we saw a pub advertising their beer price. Really? 64 pints for $3.00??? That's SO cheap! Photobucket Can you say, "measurement unit faux-pas"? At Pioneer Square, we found the coolest local bookstore we've ever seen, the Elliott Bay Book Company. Photobucket It has an unassuming storefront, but the inside was absolutely HUGE and filled with all kinds of super-cool books! There's even a used books section. Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket I must admit that when I get in a big local bookstore like this, I never want to leave. I can spend hours there and just browse. It's super-fascinating to me and I just love to take notes of books that I want to read. It's one of my favorite things to do, visiting a bookstore on vacation. The coolest thing about this bookstore is that all the shelves contain handwritten staff reviews of books that they've read, like this: Photobucket How cool is that??? On top of the book coolness, they have a cafe inside the bookstore called The Elliott Bay Cafe. And it has real food and bakery stuff inside. BTW, I think Todd's favorite word to find on vacation is "bakery", LOL. He gets very excited when he sees one. Photobucket The cafe is in the basement of the bookstore. The whole city of Seattle used to be a whole story lower, so Seattle's old buildings' first floors are now underground. We had a carmelita latte and lunch at the Elliott Bay Cafe. Photobucket I mean, who comes to Seattle without having coffee, right? In case you didn't know, Starbucks started in Seattle. The very first Starbucks is at Pike Place Market in Seattle. I've got a photo of it in our first trip to Seattle two years ago. Todd had a Moroccan Steak Sandwich: Photobucket I had Dungeoness crabcakes and salad. Photobucket It was delicious and just the right portion. After lunch we went back into the bookstore for an hour or so. Guess what I found? Photobucket I had to buy it because I am listgirl after all. What a fun book! It has different AAM topics and you have to fill them in, in list form. This is going to inspire a bunch of layouts, I'm sure. After the bookstore, we walked around Pioneer Square and looked at the cool buildings. There are a lot of old brick buildings, some of them used to be warehouses. Photobucket There are also lots of trees between the buildings. Photobucket Todd found a different bakery and we had to go in and try out their oatmeal chocolate chip cookie and ginger almond scone. Photobucket But no coffee this time. We took a taxi home and rested for a couple of hours. Then it was time for our carbo-loading dinner with some of our West Coast Road Runners teammates who also came up to Seattle from San Diego to run the marathon. We met up at Tavolata, an Italian restaurant. Photobucket I had the spaghetti. I thought it was going to be a red sauce, but it was an olive oil & anchovy sauce. Photobucket Todd had rigatoni with Italian sausage, which he found delicious. Photobucket Then we came back to the hotel. Now I need to get to bed so that I can wake up at 4:00am for my race!

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