Monday, December 29, 2008

Food poisoning while trying to get home for Christmas - not cool

Not cool. At. All. To make a long story short, I ate lunch in the afternoon (I choose not to identify the restaurant as I won't go back there soon, if ever, although I would still eat at its other locations), and very nearly did not get on the airplane to Massachusetts for Christmas. In fact, as I told my mom, had I still lived in Colorado and had a 3 1/2 hour flight as opposed to 1 hour, I would have gone to the hospital instead. There was a period of about 6 hours where I was thinking I would spend Christmas Eve, if not Christmas Day, in a hospital being fed by IV. But luckily, I was able to survive the flight, and slowly got better with the help of crackers and ginger ale. By 9 pm on Christmas Eve, 30 hours after everything first hit, I felt like myself again. I never wish to re-visit those 30 hours again. So I'm going to be a total tightwad about keeping everything super, super clean.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

New Race Plans for next year

I've done some thinking and figured that some races, including the first Maryland Half Marathon next May 31, are too expensive for my budget right now. Plus, the Charlottesville Group is not going to be formed, which may not be a bad thing. It's pricey and hilly. On top of that, it requires a hotel stay the night before (so doesn't the March 1 race in Severna Park but I had great luck with Priceline last time). Besides, there are other half marathons to run closer to home.

So, here is my new plan, going hardcore in the spring before focusing on just training runs during the summer:

March 1 - Half Marathon north of Annapolis

March 21 - National Half Marathon in DC - unless I skip it because of the $70 Registration fee

April 5 - Cherry Blossom Ten Miler

April 19 - Maryland Mountain Marathon in Cumberland - under consideration

April 26 - GW Parkway Classic 10 Miler, I did the 5K this year and my chip time was never recorded

May 3 - Potomac River Run Half Marathon - I can walk to and from the start/finish line, always a good thing

May 17 - Marine Corps Historic Half Marathon in Fredericksburg

Then no racing until the Annapolis Ten Miler in late August. I get frustrated in racing in the summer heat so it will be longer training runs instead. And remind me if I ever see New Balance 725s on sale at a DSW blowout for $29, buy every single pair of my size in the store, then order some more online beyond that. I went for an hour long run in my 725s today and absolutely love them. Thanks.

Monday, December 15, 2008

60 degrees at 6 pm: Yeah, another running tour!

Well this was just a 100-105 minute run that I felt like going on since it was unseasonably warm out today. The Appalachian Mountains are near and dear to my heart for many reasons. Today it was because they were a buffer to a cold snap that seemed to be spread out across several thousand miles. Everywhere else in the US except for the far southern reaches was damn cold today. Not where I am, so it was running time!

Quick recap, I probably ran 10-11 miles all together, here's where I went:
- Outside my workplace, up the hill on Constitution near the Capitol
- Just west of where they're setting up the Inauguration Stage, and around the reflecting pool
- Down the mall to and past the Lincoln Memorial
- Across the bridge that takes you to Arlington Cemetery (I don't know the names of all of the bridges), just where they go
- Crossed a couple streets to get me to the Mt Vernon Bike Path
- West towards and past TR Island, runnin' on the boards
- Up the ramp and across the Key Bridge
- Through Georgetown, well at least next to the Canal path. Drivers here, to the surprise of no one, don't stop at stop signs until the last macromillisecond.
- Someone asked me where I got my headlamp, of course I told her (Pacers!)
- Down past the Kennedy Center on Rock Creek Blvd
- Back down the mall to 4th Street NW

That was pretty much that, not a superfast pace but not a casual job either. Enjoyable. Random, unrelated note, I got some Bialetti Cookware yesterday and can't wait to try to out.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Help me: Cure my addiction to baseball

Major League Baseball that is. I really don't want to hear about $20 million per year contracts with the economy in the state that it's in. I don't want to hear about franchises asking for public funds to help finish stadiums after dropping $243.5 million on two contracts. I don't even want to hear about my beloved Red Sox spending nearly $200 million to sign free agent Mark Texiera, since that's what it looks like it would take. I'm tired of it all.

But, you see, I've been a baseball fan my whole life, save for a season and a half after the 2001 Red Sox disgusted me to the point of near no return. I find myself checking the web sites ten times a day to see who signed or traded for who. I still check hotel rates and wonder why I even bother seeing as I'm in no mood to drop coin on hotels to see back to back games on two weekends in Baltimore. The Sox are coming to DC this coming June but I haven't even looked at when Nationals tickets go on sale. Yet I still check sites and follow the sport day to day, especially in the summer. Even though I'm tired of it.

I want you all to help me cure my addiction, because I am pretty much fed up with the whole baseball spectacle. I simply cannot stress over sporting events anymore, there are too many things that are too much more important than life. But I know come April, everytime I'm on line I'll check scores and GameTracker. While I'll still wear the Sox cap I'm getting for Christmas, I want to stop following everything more than very casually. I've reached the point where it's more stressful and aggravating than it is fun.

What should I do to wean myself off baseball? I already have my running on Tuesday / Saturday and sometimes Thursday, spin classes on Monday and sometimes Thursday, not to mention my hiking forays. And I need to start studying for my MCSA and then CISSP after the new year. All of this takes time, but I'm looking for some honest suggestions on what other things I can add to my activity list. I'd love to hit all of these museums but they're not open during the day. Maybe I should go to Politics and Prose and other haunts. But I'm trying to wean myself off of politics too. When it gets too hot to do too much outside, I'd like to think I'd spend my weeknight time studying, but I need as many ideas as possible.

I'm tired of millionaire contracts when most of America is worried about where their next check is coming from. But old habits are hard to break. So, throw some ideas out for me. In other news, I haven't used the Expresso Bike in two weeks, I'll use it tomorrow morning at the gym. Then it's go pickup my fleece for The Celtic Soltice 5 mile race on Saturday, then Trader Joe's to pick up stuff for a holiday party. The key is to keep my weekends that busy in 2009.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Trader Joe's: My New Beer Store!

Not only are their "formerly plastic bottle" shopping bags as cool as hell, but I never knew how much good beer could be found there! Yeah, at Trader Joe's. For my friends' holiday party, I contributed some high quality beer: Stockyard Oatmeal Stout, friends liked the Trinity Red Ale, and the latest Winterfest Double Bock. Now I know Gordon Biersch and other brewers have contracts with Trader Joe's to brew beer. But I got the beer at Trader Joe's, it was good beer, and for a good price or $5.99 per six pack. So it's now my beer store on the rare evenings I drink. I no longer have to be frightened by the $18.49 "sale price" for a case of Bud Light cans.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Convicted Felon and still not a Jew - and some football - and I am an icicle

O.J. Simpson
Still not a Jew
But he's headed to the Big House
And not a golf course near his house

Okay, so I am not a poet. Nor am I Adam Sandler. But O.J. can't scheme any more (although I would not have convicted him if I was on the jury in 1995 because the prosecution fudged things up so badly that there was a lot of doubt as to his guilt).

But I am a tired football run and runner. Florida and Alabama have just kicked off in the SEC Championship game that is basically a national semifinal. This will live up to the hype, I think.

Runner, yeah I ran 14 miles today on the Capital Crescent Trail, from Mile 10.5 to about Mile 4 and back; the rest was to and from Theodore Roosevelt Island. I was still cold over an hour later, even after changing into dry clothes and then showering at Gold's Gym in Rosslyn. But the run was very nice, a group of 5 of us from the Pacers Fun Run Group ran to the 10 mile turnaround, Kate and I kept on going, Kate wanted to run 14, I decided to as well. I am very tired and cold since it was really chilly this morning, and having lost all this weight makes me cold a lot more easily....

But I will make the trade-off of being more cold 24/365, and for life. 7-0, Florida! Forced a three and out, then save for a botched QB draw, moved the ball with ease against a very good Alabama defense. Okay, back to running, 14 miles is one of the longest ones I have ever done, but the only time I was struggling to finish was going up the steep mini-hill at the Georgetown waterfront/Key Bridge. So I was very happy with my run. 60 yard plus pass play for Alabama! Touchdown, Alabama, on the next play! It was cold and nasty this morning, but I out-ran my own expectations. I can't wait for Tuesday!

First things first, my friends' holiday party is tonight. I get to be an icicle again! This will be a good time. All in all a good Saturday that several years ago would have kept me inside and half-sheltered all day. That's for tomorrow. He he.