Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Too Hot to Blog

I'm still out here with lots of actual stuff to blog about: race report, nearly attacked by a cat on my run Monday night, the joy of ice cubes, packing, moving, etc. However, with temps in my apartment the last two nights at 95 degrees (85 by 7:30 in the morning) I worry about my little computer overheating. The fan kicks into loud continuous overdrive with temperatures much less than the ones it is experiencing now and I don't want to risk damaging the darn thing. Aiming the box fan at the CPU seems to help, at least I can't hear the computer fan angrily whine because the box fan is so loud, but that also means the fan isn't pointed at me and that is just wrong. And, really, by the time it has "cooled down" to 91 at midnight and I am starting to feel marginally more awake my brain is far too tired to craft sentences.

I promise interesting posts to come after our little heat wave is over and I have finished with my move this weekend.

Stay cool...this is still better than cold and snowy.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

At the Zoo

I am off on vacation this week and am spending it reading, sitting in the sun, packing and organizing, running and various other not very exciting but very relaxing stuff. I did actually do something marginally noteworthy today; I went to the zoo.

The rest of this post should contain pictures of (my favorites) the penguins in their beautiful new exhibit. It should also have pictures of the grizzly as close as I have ever seen him outside of the viewing window. There should also be video of a tree shrew running down to the end of a branch and then doing a back flip about two feet behind him to land on another branch; over and over and over and over. Quite fascinating and a little sad. Poor little guy needs some head shrinking and a Valium.

There should be all of these but my Nikon is possessed and instead of those photos there are seven photos from the Pigs on Parade swine hunt Kevin and I went on in 2007(!) and a random lost photo from last summer. The photos were definitely there earlier and now they are not so you will just have to take my word for how great the zoo was today.

If you will excuse me I need to find some holy water to sprinkle on my camera. Does Diet Coke count?

Monday, July 13, 2009

Four Days of Fun

What do you get when you cross cute cat pictures, silly captions and America's pastime? You get "I Can Has Cheezburger" Night with the Seattle Mariners. Over 1000 cheez fans showed up for the game last Thursday night and cheered on the Mariners to a victory over the Texas Rangers. Being fans of both LOLcats and baseball, Todd and I knew this was a "must attend" event for us.

Here I am embracing the theme by wearing my Cheezburger t-shirt while eating a cheeseburger on Cheezburger Night.
Here is Todd willfully ignoring the theme by wearing a University of Minnesota shirt while eating chili-cheese fries on Cheezburger Night.

On Saturday, Kevin and I attended the second of our Adopt-A-Vine events at Chateau Fair le Pont winery. This session was all about blending and was educational, fun and, using proper wine lingo, yummy. Each table got three bottles of wine made from pure varietals: cabernet sauvignon, nebbiolo and merlot. We also got beakers, pipette and Erlenmeyer flasks to play wine scientists. The whole point of this was to play around with percentages of wine and make a tasty blend.

We were all amazed at how adding 2% more of one varietal and dropping another varietal 2% could change the flavor of the wine so dramatically. I think we tried probably eight different combinations before we came up with the blend our group liked the best.

While we were at the winery we visited the vines we "adopted" and pruned in April to see how they were doing. Here is Kevin with Sarah (pronounced like Syrah .. she is a pretentious vine, you know)

Here I am with Matilda. Who do you think is winning the "my vine will totally kick your vine's ass" competition?

Later that night Kevin surprised me with tickets to see Leavenworth Summer Theater's outdoor production of "The Sound of Music". He had no idea I had been wanting to see this for years now. He just thought it sounded like something we would both really enjoy. What a wonderful boyfriend I have.

This is the view from the seats.
You couldn't ask for a more perfect location for this play than in the hills in Leavenworth. Maria even came down from the woods on the hill next to the stage singing the theme song. I didn't grow up with the movie; in fact I didn't even see it until about five years ago, but the music is something that has become such a huge part of our cultural landscape that I could almost sing along with every song. A wonderful end to a beautiful summer day.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Personal Worst (Almost)

Friday night I had my second go-round with the Firecracker 5000. It has confirmed my suspicions that I am actually getting slower and weaker. I actually recorded my second personal worst for a 5K. Aside from that fact, I still had a really good time.

Mike and Amber decided to run this one too and it was fun to have people to run a race with. This race is at midnight on the Fourth of July on the streets around Seattle Center. Running with the beautiful lit up Space Needle as your backdrop is a beautiful thing. I remembered the course being pretty and I remembered it being good fun to run around the streets at midnight. What I forgot was that there were some nasty hills in it. I remembered the first and most major hill but it was much easier last year. Running this race has renewed my commitment to training on hills. In fact, last night I finally made it up the long, challenging hill near my house without having to stop. Progress is being made.

The splits weren't so bad except for the fact that I ran an additional .13 miles that pushed my pace down even further. The splits:

Mile 1 10:18
Mile 2 10:46
Mile 3 10:30
Mile .23 8:37

I love my Garmin. I can now quantify exactly how much I suck. I have official data. Anyway, the official results for a 3.1 mile course was 33:36 which is a 10:49 pace. Garmin recorded a pace of 10:23 for 3.23 miles. I like Garmin's numbers better.

On the bright side, we got really cool race shirts. Part of them glow in the dark. Here we are; "mooning" in our shirts the next night.

The other good part about running such a piss-poor race is that there is no where to go from here but up. Well . . . I guess there is always down too.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Resolution Update

We are at the half-way point for the year so it is time to look back on the New Year's Resolutions and check my progress.

Running Goals:
1. 5k PR - Not yet. Not even close. Still hopeful though.
2. Run a total of 650 miles - 203.13 down so far. With more free time this summer I think I can get this back on track.
3. Run a half-marathon without walk breaks - No. Not sure I am going to get this one. I am focusing on building a stronger base and speed for shorter distances right now. I haven't ruled out another half this year yet but it is looking bleak.

Health Goals
1. Get down to the weight listed on my driver's license - I have only lost six pounds; 28 more to go. Forty-two more to ultimate goal weight. I need to go drink and cry now.
2. Have all scheduled preventive services. - I had my first dental cleaning but still need to schedule the girly check-up, eye exam and one more dental cleaning.

Personal Goals
1. Visit one place in state I have never been to before - Done. Went to Friday Harbor yesterday.
2. Visit one place out of state I have never been to before - Done. Napa Valley.
3. Pay off half of my debt - Close to half of the goal right now so this looks good. Mind you this isn't counting student loan debt. I am not even thinking about that right now.
4. Get my bachelor's degree - Two classes left. One quarter to go. This was always the easiest on the list and barring any really weird circumstances this is a lock.

I clearly need to get my running in order and get more serious about the finances.

How are your resolutions or goals going for the year?