Monthly Archives: June 2009

Isn’t it Strange

A thought hit me this morning after I hobbled out of bed with a still sore calf muscle from the ridiculous charlie horse I got while swimming last night…

… isn’t it strange that we pay so much money to hurt ourselves?

I mean – I’m paying some dude to tell me what to do twice a week in a pool.  When I’m tired and don’t feel like swimming, he gives me a hard time about it.  He rattles off “drills” and demands that I complete 500 yards at the end of the session.  I’m tired, I’m already sore and yet – I have paid this guy to do this to me.

Or the fact that I pay a registration fee for all of these stupid races I’ve done every month?  Sometimes these fees are ridiculous in price but yet, I still pay them so that I can huff and puff my way through a marked course.  For what?  I never win.  I don’t really get any sort of glory.  Am I paying to have these times forever marked down so other people can view them?  It all seems so silly… and yet I keep paying.  (side note – it is official, I have registered for the Philadelphia Marathon!)

Let’s also consider any sort of waxing/threading that we ladies do to ourselves.  It doesn’t feel good and sure I’ve reached a point where it doesn’t hurt so bad that I want to cry, but seriously – we are paying someone to rip hair out of our bodies. 

It all seems so stupid – and yet I keep on paying.  Maybe I’m just feeling the effects of going 2 weekends without getting paid or perhaps I’m just really really sore this morning but yet still pushed myself to run a 5k and then bike 5 miles.  Who knows – but I need to figure out a way to get paid for enduring all of the torture!

** Update **

The more I thought about this, the more I wanted to calculate just how much I’ve spent to participate in the IronGirl triathlon.  I’m only calculating those items purchased solely for the triathlon (including items needed to train – but I’m excluding running shoes only because I’d buy them anyways):

Entry Fee – $110.00

TriSuit – $80.00 (technically I only paid about $10 for it because I was able to apply funds from our REI membership but let’s be honest – I could have used that $70 for something much cooler than an unflattering trisuit)

Swimsuit – $30.00 (I really cheaped out on this.  I felt silly swimming in the trisuit only so I purchased another equally unflattering article of clothing)

Swim Cap – $13.00 (as if the swimsuit wasn’t unflattering enough – I’ve topped the look off with a swim cap)

Swim Goggles – $25.00

Bike Helmet – $35.00 (yeah yeah – I probably should have purchased this anyways if I’m going to bike around the city but I like to live life dangerously.  I really only purchased this for the triathlon because it is required)

Monthly TriClub workout membership (2 months) – $80.00

That totals $373.00 to torture myself for roughly 2 hours in my life.   I think I may have taken crazy pills.

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Don’t Focus on Drowning

Because the IronGirl triathlon is officially less than 2 months away and I hadn’t done much in terms of triathlon training, I decided last week that I really needed to do something about it.  My inspirational triathlon/marathoning friend told me about a local triathlon club that met up for workouts twice a week at a gym in Towson.

I e-mailed the contact person for some info on the club and he informed me of the twice a week workouts AND the 2 free sessions.  How could I say no?  I’m a sucker for a freebie.

I grappled with going to the ONE HOUR swim workout last week for awhile. 

I had attempted a swim the day before with atrocious results (another incident where my superstar husband annoyed the crap out of me).

I also sometimes suffer from a socially crippling anxiety that does not allow me to go to new places where there are strangers and I am supposed to show some measure of skill.  It was especially difficult to get over the fact that I would be wearing a very unflattering one piece swimsuit with equally unflattering swim goggles.

I figured I had no choice – I had to act like a normal adult and just do it. 

I felt like a complete nerd for the first 20 minutes.  There were many skilled (and surprisingly much older) swimmers in the group.  Some of these women were in amazing shape.  WTF was I doing there?  On top of that – the coach, who was very nice and patient, had me stand in front of the group and explain the workouts for the night (he had to give me a quick lesson on what they meant).

My worst nightmare was coming true!  I was afraid he was going to make me demonstrate how crappy of a swimmer I was next but thankfully he didn’t.

He had me swim a few laps on my own and then he came over to talk to me about my form.  Not surprisingly, I had bad form.  The good news is that I can keep myself from drowning. 

He gave me some pointers and a drill to work on – the freestyle kick.  The drill consists of holding my arms stretched out in front of my head and kicking.  The drill is supposed to help me keep my head down.  Who knew that this slight change in form would keep my butt from sinking?  Only when I need to breathe do I take a stroke and lean my head out of the water.

After doing this for awhile, he had me swim 200 yards straight… without stopping.  I’m sure that doesn’t seem like much to any of you but I thought I was going to DIE.  And when I get tired, my form gets sloppy, I panic, I swallow water and then I think I’m drowning.  Not fun.

The coach gave me a really nice pep talk that inspired me to finish.  I was the last swimmer (since it was taking forever) and the class cheered me on.  I felt like a dork but it was nice to have the motivation.

I went back on Thursday for the 45 minutes of swim followed by 45 minutes of cycle.  I felt good this time.  I thought my form had improved and that this particular swim would be much easier. 

I’m not sure what the f happened but I thought I was going to die in this class.  My legs kept cramping up, my ankles were killing me from the kicking and I just didn’t have the energy.

I had a breakthrough at one point (towards the end – go figure) where I realized that if I just relaxed and not focus so much on the potential of drowning – I can actually swim 300 yards.  Amazing.

I’m going back for more torture tonight.  You’d think I would have stopped (it is exhausting to workout in the morning, work all day and then fit in an intense workout in the evening) but my inability to swim with ease just makes me realize that I NEED this class.  And yes, I probably should ditch the morning workouts but I have scaled them back and dammit, I need them to wake up.  It is a part of my routine.  Don’t judge me.

 I was so exhausted after Thursday night’s workout that I had to call Theresa to confirm the news of Michael Jackson because it was just so out of the blue.  I had to make sure I wasn’t hallucinating.  And I wasn’t.

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When Did…

… irregardless become an appropriate word to use at the office?  The first time I heard it being used by a senior associate in a serious manner, I laughed to myself about their disregard for the English language (and I also laughed because it made me think of Mean Girls… a great movie and the reason I hold on to hope for Lindsay Lohan).

I heard another colleague use the word again today… from a man that I am supposed to take direction?  Are you kidding?  I choked back my guffaw but I’m pretty sure he was on to me.

According to Wikipedia (yeah yeah, I know):

The origin of irregardless is not known for certain, but the speculation among references is that it may be a blend of irrespective and regardless, both of which are commonly accepted standard English words. By blending these words, an illogical word is created. Another possibility is that when people say “irregardless” they are following the pattern of words like irrational and irregular. “Since the prefix ir- means ‘not’ (as it does with irrespective), and the suffix -less means ‘without,’ irregardless is a double negative.

Also – when did it become appropriate to send Facebook friend requests to people you have never met?  I hit ignore only to see another request from the same person.  They are related to Jeremy but even he barely knows them.  REGARDLESS – I have never met them.  Just because I’m now married to Jeremy doesn’t somehow bond us together.  Leave me alone!

And lastly – when did it become appropriate to provide commentary to your neighbor slaving away staining her fence?  I can’t tell you how annoying it is to live next door to the frickin’ peanut gallery while I’m trying to spruce up my yard (and yes, this is the same neighbor that dumps saltines into my yard!).

It started 2 weeks ago when Jeremy and I started to scrape the old paint off of our concrete back patio.  The peanut gallery sat outside and watched us FOR AN HOUR providing commentary on what we should and should not be doing.

Then 2 days ago, I stained a portion of our back fence (the same project we were supposed to complete over a month ago).  One of the neighbors stood outside and told me all of things that I should be doing. 

Sir – if you don’t plan on helping me then how about you shut the f up?  Thank you.

Oy!

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Surviving 10 Miles

I’m sure my faithful readers have been on the edge of their seats to read how I fared at the Baltimore 10-Miler this past Saturday.  I’m happy to report that I survived it and even made it across the finish line (unlike the Baltimore City Police Commissioner).

My only goal for the race was to run without stopping.  I use the term “run” very loosely since I’m more of a jogger.  But let’s be honest – saying “runner” sounds way cooler than “jogger”.

Lucky for me, it was an overcast morning.  The weather guy said it would rain in the afternoon so it was perfect.  It was nice and cool.

Right before the start of the race – the rain started to come down.  It was a nice light rain so I wasn’t complaining and Jeremy was actually happy to have some rain.

After about ¼ mile, the rain turned into a downpour.  At this point, my Nike+ stopped working (stupid technology!) but my iPod was still running.  Some may think it was stupid to run with electronics in the rain but I needed the music.

I wasn’t anticipating all of the hills.  In fact, a friend sent me a text message the night before to assure me that the only hill in the race was the final mile or so and only described it as a “slight uphill climb”.

Liar!

Regardless – I was ecstatic to be running in this monumental race (monumental to me, at least).  I even purchased a running skort so that I could look adorable in all of the race photos.  I cheesed for most of my race photos too.  I wasn’t going to have that look of confusion and pain on my face.  No sir.

kim10run1

This pic was after mile 5.  I still felt great.  Sure my shoes and clothes were soaked but I had made it to mile 5 and was still moving.

After I crossed mile 7, I was starting to lose a little steam but then I noticed a man that was clearly over the age of 80 starting to pass me.  I started to keep pace with him. 

Once I crossed mile 8, I felt fantastic.  I had officially crossed into the “this is the farthest I have ever run” territory.  Only 2 miles left!  Suddenly, my legs felt weightless.  I was euphoric.  The finish line was in reach.

10almostthere

The finish line felt so close!

 After another ½ mile or so, I found myself at the base of a hill.  I was entering the final uphill climb to the finish.  I could see the course winding side to side but always uphill.

 Suddenly my legs felt like they weighed 100 lbs each.  I felt the pools of water in my shoes.  That super cute running skort suddenly became a bad idea (because the extra fabic of the skirt had absorbed so much water that it was pulling my skirt down!).  Runners around me started to slow down to a walk. 

The finish line felt like it was another 20 miles away.

The finish line felt like it was so far away...

Sadly, I had to stop and walk.  I briskly walked for about a minute and then picked up to a jog again.  I managed to keep the jog until I passed mile 9 and then some but then I reached the final, and what seemed like a rather steep, uphill climb.  Defeated, I walked again for about another 1-2 minutes.  A stranger next to me said, “We can do this.  We’re almost done” and so we both picked up to a jog and started moving ahead.

My new running partner was great.  I really needed someone at that point to tell me that we could do it!  We were almost there.  But then he crapped out on me.  I felt bad for the guy but I kept on moving.

I crossed the finish line at 1:44.29.  My average pace was 10:27 min/mile.  I finished 219th out of 345 in my age/gender division and 732nd out of 1327 women total.  Not great but not awful.

kim10run2kim10run3

Jeremy finished in 1:16.44.  His average pace was 7:41 min/mile.  He didn’t even TRAIN!  He hadn’t run in over a month!  He finished 30th out of 163 in his age/gender division and 136 out of 1170 men total.  WTF?!

jeremy10run

Once I crossed the finish line and found Jeremy – he looked like death.  I wanted to stick around and enjoy my accomplishment.  Drink some beer.  Find my friends.

Jeremy’s first words were not “congratulations – you did it!”  Nope, instead his first words were were, “we need to leave now.”  I had never seen him look so drained so I didn’t argue.  I picked up my finisher’s jacket and left.

He hobbled around for the rest of the day and the next.  I felt great.  I guess that’s what training for 10 weeks will do!

I just registered for the Baltimore Half Marathon and Jeremy has too (despite saying in the car ride home after the 10-miler that he was NEVER running that far again).

Some lessons that I learned from the race:

  • I need to incorporate more hill training in my runs
  • If I think there is ANY chance of rain, I should not wear a running skirt or any electronic device
  • The Nike+ thingamabob sucks

Some lessons Jeremy learned from the race:

  • Train for long distances
  • Drink Mylanta before a long run (he got really bad heartburn and indigestion)
  • Purchase something that will prevent nipple chafing

Jeremy’s goal for the half marathon is to finish in the top 3 of his age division.  He has looked up a training guide and plans to follow it.  It seems that I will have lost my biking water boy. 

(note – all pictures are courtesy of Brightroom, the “official” photographers of the race.  As proud as I am for finishing, I can’t fathom paying $20 for a race picture).

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Tour Dem Parks, Hon bike tour

My oh-so-active weekend and Baltimore smorgasbord of fun also included a long bike ride on Sunday.  I stumbled across the Tour Dem Parks, Hon event page and thought it seemed like a lot of fun… or as fun as biking around the city on a ridiculously hot day while wearing unflattering spandex and a helmet can be.  Unfortunately nobody seemed to want to do this with me because they either (1) didn’t own a bike (2) had to work (3) were running in a race (4) had a soccer game or (5) hated biking. 

Lucky for me – Mia’s husband, Shawn, said he wanted to bike with me!  I was really stoked.  I was even more stoked when Mia got booted from the race (she was filling in for someone who wasn’t feeling well but they ended up feeling well enough to race the day before) and she came along too.

The bike ride was lovely although there were a few steep hills that turned my thighs into mush or had me walking my bike but overall – I got to ride along trails I didn’t even know existed, through parks I’d never heard of and through some of the slums seen on The Wire. 

We all chose to do the 64 mile ride but missed the call for those riders (they left in groups from the starting point).  We had a map and the roads were marked so we just figured we’d go on our own… not realizing how frickin’ long it would take.  I felt bad but I had to cut the ride short because I was meeting my in-laws at 2pm to hit up the Greek Festival (sorry – no pics) and it was already close to noon.

Anywho – I’d love to ride on some of these trails again and through some of the parks with the exception of Lake Montebello.  At one point, cars had stopped to let the gang of bikers ride through and I was about 5 seconds behind.  I hesitated and so did one of the cars.  I eventually went and of course… so did the car.  I immediately stopped and I guess I startled the driver enough for him to stop his car in front of me, roll down his window, point his finger at me and yell, “You motherf*cker!“. 

Whaa?!

How can you call someone on an old lady bicycle, wearing a dorky bike helmet in pigtails a motherf*cker?

I smiled and waved.

All week my back has been super sore from being hunched over for 3 hours but it was still a delightful ride and I got some info on other upcoming long bike tours that I hope to participate in.

Picture time! 

Mia is my fitness hero.  She has competed in several marathons and triathlons (including a half IronMan!).  Clearly – she looks cute and normal in a bike helmet.  I look like a douchebag:

Even her husband, Shawn, looks normal in a bike helmet.

 Together – they make a cute couple looking normal (and apparently hardcore) in bike gear.

 

Btw – I learned a fun fact.  Did you know that one of the number 1 getaway vehicles in homicides are BICYCLES?  Um… really?  The murderers may want to rethink their strategy.

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CSA – Kale

 Wednesday night – sauteed kale. 

 At this point (Saturday’s pickup of our CSA to Wednesday evening), the kale was looking a little sad.  I probably should have made this sooner.  Lesson learned.

I trimmed off the large red rubbery stems, roughly chopped the kale and sauteed it in a pan over medium-high heat with some olive oil and thinly sliced garlic.  Well – as thinly as my crap knife and shaky hands would let me.  Oh and what are the brown bits in the saute?  Burnt garlic.  Whoops.

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Blue Moon Cafe – A Review

As a reward (or motivator) for my 8-mile run on Saturday, Jeremy and I had breakfast at the famed Blue Moon Café in Fell’s Point.

bluemoon

I’m not sure if they were always ridiculously popular or if the fact that they were on an episode of Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives helped to catapult them to super stardom but cheese-n-rice, it’s really difficult to get a table here.

Off topic – does Guy Fieri annoy anyone else?  What is with that guy?  I just want to punch him. 

I think it’s his hair.  Or the fact that he sometimes wears his sunglasses on the back of his head.  Or that he eats with his hands when he’s in other people’s kitchens on the show and it just seems rude… and gross.  Oh and he has man jewelry… most notably a PINKY RING.

Back on topic – they were featured on the Food Network for the Cap’n Crunch french toast which looked like a heart attack mcfatty breakfast to me.  Still – I wanted to try this place because a lot of friends have dined here and loved it.  Plus – I wanted to say that I’ve eaten here!  I’ve driven by this place on countless Saturday mornings only to see large crowds waiting outside for a table.  I wanted to say that I’m one of the people that managed to eat here on a Saturday morning.

We thought that getting there around 9am would be okay.  I mean – it’s Saturday morning in Baltimore City.  Who the hell gets up that early? 

Plenty of people.

There wasn’t a huge crowd outside like I typically see but we still had to wait about 20 minutes for a table.  I used this time to stretch and change shirts because sweat was pouring off of me to the point where when I bent over slightly to stretch my hamstrings, I was BLINDED by the mixture of sweat and sunblock. 

They serve Bluebird Coffee  and it’s delicious.  I thought the waitstaff was friendly and they always refilled my coffee.  I actually lost track of the amount of coffee I was drinking after 3 refills.

We started off with a fresh fruit plate.  I forgot to take a picture but the plate consisted of blueberries, grapes, sliced cantaloupe, sliced oranges and some sliced ruby red grapefruit.

Jeremy contemplated getting a cinnamon roll but the fact that I wouldn’t split it with him swayed his decision.  Isn’t it amazing how we always feel a little less guilty in indulging if we split it with someone?  If Jeremy won’t split a dessert with me, I won’t get one.

I ordered the oatmeal & brown sugar pancakes.  I really wanted pancakes (I hadn’t had a pancake since starting the p90x back in February) and the idea of an oatmeal pancake intrigued me.

oatmealbrownsugarpancakes 

The pancakes were really good.  I’m not sure if it was because the pancakes themselves were just that amazing or the fact that I was craving pancakes and was finally eating them just made them that much more magical.  The “oatmeal & brown sugar” part of the pancake was just a topping.  Still good. 

I also got a side of their hashbrowns.  Their hashbrowns must be laced with crack-cocaine or meth because holy crap, they are f’n amazing.  I’m craving them now!  So creamy… and yet the top layer had a fantastic crunch.

Jeremy got the Heuvos Rancheros Santa Fe.  It was some meat (chorizo) and cheese concoction.  I don’t know.  He ate the whole thing though and that’s always a good sign.  He liked it a lot.  His farts smelled terrible afterwards.

HeuvosRancherosSanteFe

I would recommend this place to anyone but it’s about the size of a shoebox with poor air circulation.  We were lucky enough to be seated directly in front of the window a/c unit (perhaps that was done on purpose since I was sweating so profusely).  They offer a lot of offbeat breakfast menu items.  I think we’ll definitely be back but will be sure to get there at 7:30am.

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CSA and Me

A few months ago, Theresa proposed going halfsies on a community support agriculture (CSA) membership for the summer.  Yes, I said halfsies.

Being a lover of fresh produce and a person trying to be more “eco-friendly” – I agreed.  We signed up for a CSA through One Straw Farm because they seemed to offer more of the things we enjoyed.

This past weekend was the first official pick-up and due to conflicting schedules, Theresa went alone (I was eating breakfast somewhere fantastic… and I’ll blog about it later).  I trusted Theresa’s produce selections.

She came back with: lettuce, kale, swiss chard and strawberries.

So far, Jeremy and I have eaten the lettuce, strawberries and swiss chard.

We made bean tacos but used the lettuce as the wrap (instead of a taco shell).  I saw this on an episode of I Want to Save Your Life  and wanted to try it.

While the lettuce wasn’t crunchy (as I had anticipated), it was still a delicious dinner.

For the strawberries, we ate them on Sunday soaked in balsamic vinegar with a little sugar.  A.maz.ing.

I forgot to take pictures of both so you’ll just have to take my word for it.

Last night, I sauteed the swiss chard in toasted sesame oil and tamari sauce with a little salt and pepper.

It was so good and so easy to make.  It was a bit crispy and had a nice salty flavor to them.  This means they probably weren’t the healthiest thing to eat but whatever… it was good.

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One of the Reasons I Love to Run

… is this fantastic route.  And before you even ask, yes – I made Jeremy take pictures of the run route so I could blog about it because I am a huge nerd.  I’ve learned to accept that.  You should too.

I successfully ran 8 miles Saturday morning despite the humidity and direct sun.  It was still early enough that I didn’t want to die (7:30am) but still hot enough that my pace was much slower. 

And another annoying thing is that my iPod and Nike+ died during the run.  I have no record of the entire run.  Stupid technology!

Anywho – it’s official.  I want to live on the water.  I’ve realized (after getting my aqua globe and doorbell stolen) that I need to get out of my neighborhood before the punk kids turn into punk teenagers. 

Pictures!

First, I want to briefly mention this picture:

It looks innocent enough right?  It is just a picture of a pier.  Let’s zoom in a bit, shall we?

thong

What the shit is that?  It’s a person sleeping on the pier in a thong.  I wish I could tell you if it was a dude or a woman but I had no clue.  They seemed a bit broad in their shoulders to be a woman.  Did I mention there were children playing at the other end?

I mean, I guess I should have checked to see if they were alive but I had a run to finish.  There was no news of a dead body found in only a thong on a pier so I don’t feel so guilty.

Anywho – this is just a picture post of the running route that I have fallen madly in love with (dirty harbor water smell and all):

I’ve also decided that having Jeremy pedal his bike alongside me as I run (or at least near me) is fantastic.  I have my own personal waterboy (and photographer for those great action shots that I’ll show my grandkids one day).

Towards the end of the run when I was losing some steam, he pedaled slowly next to me and offered words of encouragement.  I thought it was nice of him (and helpful) but didn’t realize what a douche he looked like until one observer yelled, “Shouldn’t you be letting her ride the bike?!

I think I’ll continue to use Jeremy’s waterboy services during my marathon training.  I recommend everyone find a someone to do the same!

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Butt Cramp

Crap!  I think I pulled a muscle in my right butt cheek.  I’ve been walking around like someone stuck an ice stick in my bum all day. 

And don’t you hate when someone doubts your skills?  I was having a conversation about how I’m totally doing the Philly marathon (right, Ian?) and someone brought up Iron Girl.  Yeah… I really haven’t done much training for it but I still have some time, right?  I’m on a runner’s high lately – I’m focusing on the 10-miler run next week.  Regardless, I don’t particularly care about placing anywhere in the top rankings of the Iron Girl.  My only goal is to beat the majority of the women in my company that registered.  I am a little iffy about beating one woman… that was until a co-worker basically said I had no chance of beating that women.

Oh it’s on, biotch.  My goal is to now beat EVERY woman that works at the same company as me in that damn triathlon.

On to fun news… I just booked a weekend trip to Chicago with my pal, Angie.  I’m super excited because I’ve never been to Chicago and I never see Angie very much.  Yippee!

I’m ready for the weekend…

Tonight, I’m scraping the old paint off of my back patio so it can be repainted and I can finally start cooking dinners again and having friends over (like Jamie and Geoff!).  I had a fab dinner with them and they reminded me that’s it has been way too long since we’ve done anything like that and I definitely need a kick in the pants to get going with the backyard projects.

Tomorrow, lots of festivals…

Sunday, I’m doing the bike tour.  I’m super stoked about it especially since it seemed nobody wanted to do it with me.  Should I be concerned about how the fact that me and my friend’s husband registered as a “couple” looks?  It was cheaper than registering as single riders!  We’re being frugal.

I’m off to ice my butt.  Have a good weekend!

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