Saturday, February 28, 2009

Long run race season begins in 18 hours

In a couple hours I leave for Annapolis for the first long race of 2009. Crappy weather tomorrow = no real time goals, just have fun and a strong race where I feel decent all the way through. Okay, never mind, I want to finish in under 2 hours, under 1:55 will make me be thrilled. I don't expect to beat my 1:50:39 in Richmond because of conditions et al.

This is the start of a very aggressive running schedule this spring, I look forward to pushing myself to which for me will be far limits. And that yoga project, it looks like I will make my yoga debut next Saturday. Wooohooo!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Stay tuned for Jeff's Yoga Project

I know I have a such a huge readership, but I'm going to start blogging about my newfound experiences with yoga. Well, whenever I actually start attempting to take classes. But I'm researching what might be best for me. Probably Pure Prana in Alexandria, or possibly Dahn yoga. Unless you think I can handle hot yoga.

Step one in the Jeff's Yoga Project: Make sure that the workout clothes I have will suffice for yoga, in other words I need to wear stuff that will at least make it look like I am more than a clueless jackass. I'm working on this but post suggestions, trust me they are appreciated.

I'm looking forward to this, as I think it will help me with my fitness and health goals. And it will be fun once I actually know what I'm doing. And it will be a new activity for me.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Long Weekend with Family - fun but tiring

Okay, so this weekend I'm in Dracut, MA with the family. It is fun but I am very tired. Let's see what I've done:

- Went to a birthday party, as my just turned 15 and soon to be 13 year old nephew have their party on the same day since their birthdays are close together.

- Played Family Feud with my nephews and Mom and Dad, my team lost very badly in the third game.

- My 7 year old nephew stayed overnight on Saturday night, so we had three nephews over. The "let's go hide and scare somewhere" trick actually worked this time. Good times.

- Went for a two hour run through Dracut and Tyngsboro, MA, including passing by a lake that I didn't even know was there, and I lived nearby for the first 25 years of my life.

- Went for a second run, oh wait that's tomorrow. My flight doesn't leave until 4 pm so I'll have some time. Probably not the side street hills that I ran on Sunday, many of which were short but very steep, but it will likely be a 2 hour run nevertheless. If I was into running and hiking as a kid, I would have taken greater advantage of the local state forest than I did, but that's water under the bridge.

- Ate a burger at Fuddruckers. I do not believe I had ever been to one before today. Sorry, no pictures but take my word for it, the burger was pretty good, and the free toppings were plentiful. I put some lettuce and diced tomatoes on the burger to balance the meal out a bit.

- Bought 5 pair of running shorts, 4 pair of yoga/running tights, 2 pair of running shoes, and 1 pair of cross trainers at the New Balance Factory Outlet in Lawrence, MA as part of a fitness sale. That means discount on top of discount. I need new running shorts because of my weight loss (~ 40 pounds since 1/1/08 with 10-15 more to go). And I am becoming serious about starting yoga soon, so getting the tights that can be used for running, yoga, et al are very useful. The only thing they didn't have were "fitness pants" which I can order online.

- Staved off the temptation to buy a couple pair of NB 8508 running shoes for $24.99. I was spending enough as it is, and while I like the 8508s, I like the 725, 1223, and 825 (trainers) more so I held off. Between the shoes I got today and others that I have but have not used yet, I have enough shoes to last me through most of 2009.

- Wanted to catch up with friends in the area but they all had to work today. I'm glad I was able to go to the outlet after a brief period of indecision.

Great times, but it will be easier to get back into the daily routine when I get back home tomorrow night. And yeah I'm tired because my nephews have way more energy than I have. I'm looking forward to my brief trip on March 14-16 for some skiing and chilling and maybe a trip to the covered bridges of Jackson, New Hampshire which believe it or not I have never been to. Back to the gym on Wednesday, back to fun run on Thursday. That work thing on Wednesday too.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Hey! Guess Who I saw today?

I went for a late afternoon walk up Capitol Hill during my lunch break. I saw Senator Al Franken (Yes he is a Senator)! Really! Walked right by him on Constitution Avenue just east of the Senate Buildings. Who have you seen today? Or any day while just wandering in your daily travels? Do you get all geeked up when you see famous people? "Hey I saw so and so today!" "So and so visited my work building!" Or not care at all? Or like me and think it's all cool for about five minutes before moving on to different thoughts? I probably saw a bunch of other people in the political class too while walking to and from Nebo's but was only clear that I saw Franken. I thought I saw former senator Chuck Hagel too but it wasn't him. Don't worry, I won't make this a habit, when it's nice out I walk at lunch and just chose the Hill today.

Friday, February 06, 2009

A random letter to American Airlines - by me

Dear American Airlines,

I wish to share with my minscule readership what you sent to me today:

"Now is a great time to vacation in the U.S. and Canada! With our Get Up And Go Sale, you'll find flights to destinations from coast to coast starting as low as $37* each way, based on round-trip purchase. So much awaits you, from sunny beaches to lively cities and the great outdoors. Get up and go! Book your trip on today.

Purchase your flight by February 13, 2009, and travel by May 13, 2009, to enjoy these great fares."

Do not get me wrong, I appreciate that you are offering lower fares to your customers regardless of the reasons for doing so. In these tough times, a lot of people could use the few bucks they will save by flying on the dates where the sale applies: "Sale fares shown are valid for travel Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday; other days are subject to higher fares."

That's cool, those used to be the cheaper fare days for whatever reason; this is a random blog, not an analysis of airline industry pricing trends, so I don't know or care about the reasons for that. What do I care about is that the "embargo" dates, or dates that the sale doesn't really apply, are: "Travel is not valid March 13-15, 20-22, 27-29, 2009, or April 3-5, 10-11, 13, 2009." Pretty much all of the dates most people will be traveling during the "sale" periods. I have to put sale in quotes because it ain't really much of sale when most sale days are blocked, now is it?

Occasional Flyer on American, or at least when they actually give me the best deal when I need to travel

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Another reason why I am not a big fan of ear buds

I'm sure I've received funny looks for wearing the old school headphones with my MP3 player instead of the modern ear buds. Well, the ear buds bug my ears from time to time. I genrally only wear them when I'm running and have a ski cap on; it's more comfortable that way. All other times, I usually use go old school. Maybe moreso now because with the ear buds on last night on Metro....................I totally missed the announcement before Pentagon Station that my yellow line train was suddenly a blue line train because they were behind. Or something.

Now Why I Hate DC would just blame Metro. I share the blame. Why Metro did this I don't really know. But........I should have heard the announcement, and the old headphones allow just enough outside noise that I would have heard it. I had no idea what was up until the train sped past Eisenhower Ave instead of stopping. This cost me a spin class since I didn't get back from Van Dorn to King to Huntington in time, then the shuttle bus to my apartment was full. Damn.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Frustrated and need more hobbies

A few weeks ago I asked for help curing my addiction to baseball. Now, me, a too much of a sports junkie for his own good, need more help. Wean me off of pretty much everything besides NHL hockey and soccer, since I am more "meh" about pro sports with each passing day. Even more ideas of ways to occupy my leisure time are appreciated, especially on weeknights when I'm here in a suburban environment. I just get frustrated with a lot that goes on. NHL Hockey I can still enjoy regardless who is playing. Same for soccer, most of the time. But I want more of a life, help me get it. More interests, more hobbies. I do okay with running and going to the gym. I think I need to start researching yoga a little more.

I've finally decompressed from my visit to the Social Security Office

To make a long story short, my social security card was in such bad, tattered shape that I finally decided to go get a new one should I ever need it again. Application: no problem. Metro Trip last Monday to Dupont? That was okay. Sitting in the waiting room for two hours just to hand over an application and get a printed for saying I have a social security number and mine was in the mail? Not so cool. That was two of the most aggravating hours I had experienced in years. I totally realize that a lot of people are going through hard times and I have been relatively lucky. That does not mean I ever want to visit that office ever again and seeing that disorganized, messy clusterf***. Messy, sloppy, I'll stop there. At least I got to eat a nice lunch at Port of Pireaus and when I asked the person who took my application if the card was the most beat up she ever saw, she replied yes.