Mainely Running
Join me as I train in Maine and race all over the world in pursuit of my goal to run a marathon on all 7 continents

Monday, August 29, 2011

Come on Irene

Unlike most people, who fled, I went to the coast for the hurricane. I hate to miss a good storm. We frantically pulled floats and boats, and even did a goat rescue. I (luckily) missed the actual trip to the Cuckholds to get the goats and bring them back (they did not want to get, or stay in, the boat), but then I became goat keeper for the weekend. We put them in our plant shed. They liked it so much, they never wanted to come out.

They were also not please to be wearing collars and leashes. When they were out, we tied their leashes to a chain. It didn't take them long to figure out that if they worked together, they could pull the chain wherever they wanted to go. So we had to keep a close eye on them- those goats can move!

The harbor was totally cleared out- every boat was pulled, and it was a good thing. When the storm finally hit on Sunday, the wind was howling. I went for a run early Sunday morning, it was raining, incredibly humid, and gusting winds. But by Sunday night, you could hardly stand up in the wind down at the dock. The seas built over the day, and by evening, were easily 10 feet. The surf was spectacular. We stayed up for the high tide at 11 pm, and it was as high as I've seen it in years.

We were all standing holding our breath with another neighbor, whose house is built on pilings over the water, as the tide crested about an inch from his door. This whole dock was underwater!

All in all, we were incredibly lucky. It was enough of a storm to be exciting, and to validate all the work that went into preparation, but not enough to cause major danger.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Thrilling Thursday

So I ended up having a great day, despite being exhausted from the red eye and my cold.

I got home around 6 am- unpacked and hand a handful of frosted Mini-Wheats (my fav!) before heading out on a run. The run was not the highlight of my day. My legs felt like lead and every breath felt hard. I was tired, it was humid, but whatever, I got it done. At least it was nice to be back running on the shaded, rolling, safe, sidewalks.

After a shower I was starving again- so I took advantage of being home and whipped up peach and raspberry muffins with almond flour. Yumm-o.

Then I decided to check out the 30 minute express new bootcamp at my gym, because it's taught by one of my favorite instructors Leslie. I figured I could handle 30 minutes, despite my lack of energy. Holy cow- it kicked my butt. We never stopped- jumping jacks, hundred of pushups and situps, mountain climbers, and jumping squats. A full hour would have killed me!

Then I did some errands on my bike, before coming home to make a super good shrimp and avocado sandwich for lunch. Then, I intended to take a nap, but made the mistake of putting the US gymnastics championships on. I had to watch every second and it got me all hyped up. I miss it so much sometimes.

And then just when I was wondering what with the rest of the afternoon, I got the phone call. The seller agreed to my offer- the house is mine! And now I'm freaking out because I feel like there is so much to do, expect I can't do anything now. The bank is closed for the day, it's too early to start packing. Good thing I'm heading out for the last night of restaurant week tonight at Henrietta's Table.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Jongewaard's Bake 'n Broil

I had some time to kill before I had to be at the airport so I cruised around the Long Beach area looking for food. I'm still not feeling great, so I was seeking comfort food. I wanted soup or mac n' cheese, even though it was about 95 out. I came across a great hidden gem: Jongewaard's Bake 'n Broil.

It was cute inside, with a long counter and a small booths. Best of all was the display case in the middle filled with amazing looking cakes, pies, muffins, and other baked goods.

I had a hot cup of french onion soup and a grilled cheese with tomato on homemade bread. Just what the doctor ordered. And as I ate, I chatted with the old men sitting all around me. They wanted to know what a young "looker" such as myself was doing eating by herself.

The giant layer cakes piled with buttercream frosting were luring me.

But I figured since I half-assed in spinning this morning, and since I can't really taste all that well, it wasn't worth the calories. And then the guy next to me got a piece of peach pie. I couldn't resist. Huge, juicy chunks of fresh peach piled on top of a flaky crust with a big glob of ice cream of top. Hey, fruit is healthy right?


It's official, I'm sick. When I was younger, I was sick ALL the time. A combination of messed up ears, and asthma meant that I got colds and ear infections frequently and had them for a long time. Luckily, this has improved as I've gotten older. I think running and eating a healthy diet really helps. But with all my travel (especially since I spend most of my week in hospitals), it's inevitable that I'm going to get sick occasionally. This is one of those weeks. Sunday I woke up with a wicked sore throat, and by Monday morning, the congestion hit me full on. I am blowing my nose every 4 minutes and sound horrible. I moved desks yesterday and my new office mates were less than thrilled to have snotty, germy me, moving in!

Copious amounts of sleep are what usually help me to recover the fastest, along with zinc and vitamin sleep. I pretty always keep running and working out, unless I'm really sick to my stomach. I know it probably makes me worse instead of better, but I feel like it gets everything in my body moving. After getting no sleep due to my unexpected night in Chicago, last night I got a great nyquil induced 9 hours. Tonight however, I'm taking a red eye home, so it will be another bad night.

What do you do to get over a cold more quickly?

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


Lately I feel like my sense of time has been warped. I seem to always been in either fast forward or slow motion.

I rush, rush to get to the airport and through security, and then there are the long, seemingly endless hours of waiting for my flight, and then being on the plane. (Especially this week, where I got stuck in Chicago. I waited during my scheduled lay-over, then I waited to board, and waited for them to make the announcement that the flight was canceled, I waited in line and on the phone to be re-booked, after a few short hours of sleep, I waited again for my new flight to board (it was delayed 3 hours!). (P.S United you are not on my list of favorite things this week).

The days when I am in California seem endless. I'm up before the sun to work-out and then at the hospital for what feels like forever. But then, my few days at home seem to speed by in a blur of chores and friends and family.

And now I have the house buying process. Once I decided to go for the condo in South Portland I was in such a hurry to make an offer. And now for 4 long days I've been waiting to hear back (the seller was away for the weekend, and now because she's deaf has to work with an interpreter to talk to the bank which is slowing things down). And yet I know that once I hear back things will move at lightening speed as I try to navigate the whole home buying process for the first time.

Like Goldilocks, I'm looking for my sense of time to feel "just right" again.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Old School

I am trying a new hotel this week in Orange, and it's working out much better. It's not a high rise, I have a little kitchenette, the parking is easy, and there is free continental breakfast. All of this means I get in and out more quickly, and can eat better.

Another thing I thought would be great is that there is a Bally Total Fitness right next door. Except, I went for the first time yesterday, and it is probably the worst gym I've ever been to. Since I exercise so much on my own because of my schedule, I always jump at the chance to try a new class. When i got to Bally's yesterday Total Body Pump was just starting. It was taught by a Hispanic guy, and it was a joke. He had us hopping around like idiots to "warm up" and then lead us through a rapid series of "exercises." His form was terrible, we were racing through the sequence, and the equipment was old and gross. Not only was I not getting a workout, but I was afraid I was going to get hurt. I walked out. I NEVER do that, but it was a waste of time and potentially dangerous. So I went up to the free weight area, which was packed with big, muscle bound guys grunting. One of the trainers looked at me and was like "hey kiddo, what you doing over here." Seriously??? Just because I'm female and short and blond doesn't mean I'm a wimp. Come on Bally's get with the times, your gym is old and gross!!

But after the disappointment at the gym, I had a nice surprise. Some co-workers had an extra ticket to the Angels game. The ballpark was literally right across the street, so I threw on clean clothes and off I went for a night of beer, popcorn (an entire bag of kettle corn thank you), and baseball. I was up WAAY past my bedtime, so I was majorly dragging at spin class this morning, but oh well, sometimes you gotta live a little.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

You don't know what you've got til it's gone...

As Joni Mitchell once sang, “don’t it always seem to go, you don’t know what you got till it’s gone.” I found out this week while in Santa Rosa, that it was my last trip. As though, I often complained about the trip, I was amazingly lucky to get to work in such an amazing place. This week I took the time to savor. My runs were done in the cool mist of the early morning, on quiet roads and paths. I walked through the Burbank Gardens at lunch, as saw artichokes growing for the first time (they’re actually pretty). I went to the farmer’s market and feasted on sweet fruit, cheeses, crispy fresh vegetables, and nutty hearty breads. I had a great dinner with a group of people that have come to be good friends. Yesterday, I did the drive through the green rolling hills from Santa Rosa and back to San Francisco for the last time. I saw the tips of the golden gate rise suddenly from the fog and hills. I walked through the palace of fine arts and along the marina. I was part of the crowd of people walking, running, biking, frolicking. I had a organic soft serve ice cream dipped in chocolate and salt, the melted down my arms as I ate it in the sun. I met friends and ate Burmese food for the first time at an over flowing restaurant full of talk and laughter. I’ve come to deeply appreciate the beauty and spirit of Northern California. Look at these pictures, how can you not?

Friday, August 5, 2011

Springboard Pilates

I tried my first springboard pilates class last night, and absolutely loved it! The movements are similar to those in mat pilates, but you use the resistance of springs mounted to a board on the wall. The springs are attached to bars, handles, and foot straps for different movements. The resistance of the springs makes the movements more challenging, but at the same time almost easier, because they force you to do the movement correctly. The class lasted an hour and I felt like I worked my entire body- arms, core, and legs. I felt so great when I left the class- strong but also loose and stretched out. I have a tendency to think that in order to meet my exercise quota for the day, I have to do an all out activity. Running, spinning, lifting weights. These are important, but need to be done in combination. More importantly, you need to enjoy what you're doing. It's important to try new things. I loved this class so much, I can't wait to find a studio at home, and hopefully near where I'll be working in the Anaheim area. And it's such a simple machine, I bet I could even make one myself!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Fall Races???

After Antarctica I was so fired up to join the 7 continents club. I'd just come back from an incredible adventure and felt strong. Now 6 months later, I feel like I need to make some motion towards that goal. Or, at the very least, I need another goal. Something to move me forward.

Here are the 2 options I'm considering

1/2 marathon in Alaska at the end of August

Advantages: I'll already be in California for work (and they'd pay for my flight), and there is an easy direct flight from Long Beach. And I have been doing a few 9-10 milers every month or so, so the distance wouldn't be a stretch.
Disadvantages: It doesn't help with my 7 continent goal. It's also the same week as the Southport Auction, which I love to be home for. And the return flight leaves at 1 and lands in CA at 7am Monday and I'd have to go straight from work.

Eindhoven Marathon in The Netherlands in October.

Advantages: I was an exchange student here in high school, so it has sentimental value, and I'd get to stay with my host family (free place to stay!). I could use my miles to get there for free.
Disadvantages: I am not in shape for a marathon, and it's only a 2 months away. Plus I hate training in the heat. I'd have to fly out of California, so it would be a looooong trip.

The other factor is that I'm looking at buying a house in Maine. I don't when, or actually if, this is going to happen. But it's making me hesitant about being away and spending money.


Tuesday, August 2, 2011

End of vacation

The last weekend of my vacation was glorious, full of fun and sun, family and friends. Saturday we left early to make it to Portland for the 8:30 ferry to Peak’s Island for the Peak’s Island 5 mile road race. We met my friend Jen, and my Mom’s friend Cat, and joined the excited crowd waiting to board. The sun was already warm as we crossed Casco Bay, and by the start of the race it was in the 80’s. Jen and I joined the crowd at the starting line and were deep in conversation, when suddenly a cannon went off. We both jumped straight up, and the realized the race was starting and started running. The race runs around the perimeter of the island, providing spectacular views and a cooling sea breeze for nearly the entire race. My garmin had been left on in my bag, and was dead when I went to put it on, so I was running blind. I settled into a pace that was faster than usual, but not uncomfortable, and the miles flew by. I ran through the water stop where my Mom and Cat were working, through the spray of a hose held by my high school physics teacher who won survivor, past kids selling lemonade, and then I was coming into the final quarter mile flanked by two other women. One started to make a surge, and I kicked in with everything I had, passing them both just inches before the finish for a final time of 42:30, 8:30 miles. I was ecstatic with my time, given the heat, my recent lack of speed work, and my dinner the night before of a blizzard followed by cookie dough. After the race we jumped in the ocean, ran under the giant sprinklers they had set up on the lawn, went to the free beer garden, biked around the island, and took a quick dip.

After a crowded ferry ride back, we went for an early dinner at Cinque Terre in the Old Port. I loved Cinque Terre when I was in Italy, and was anxious to see if the food could compare. It did. We had gorgonzola stuffed dates wrapped in prosciutto, a fresh pasta made with a local green tossed with caramelized onions, and fresh swordfish. So good. We then made a quick coffee stop before heading to the State Theatre for Emmylou Harris. WOW. It’s a wonderful venue, and the concert was amazing. We were blown away by the opening act- The Civil Wars. They had these incredible voices and fantastic harmony. And Emmylou’s voice was equally a strong and wonderful.

Sunday I got a dunking when I took my little cousin out to feed the goats. I was trying to stabilize the kayak as she got out, when a wave came in and moved the rock I was standing on. My cousin and the goats seemed to think this was hilariously funny. Since, I was already soaked, I dragged everyone in for a swim when we got back. It was an afternoon tide and the water was warm. We had the rare luxury of being able to float and paddle aimlessly without freezing to death. Swimming was followed by a lobster bake and then the reggae cruise. It was a stunning night, clear and warm, and the boat went around Southport, out to Damriscove, and into Linkekin Bay. The pumpkin ledges were covered with seals. Even better than the scenery, was the people on the boat. My best friend from middle and high school had come up, and then it turned out my brother’s friend OJ who used to live with us was there with a whole crew of people I used to work with in the summer. Everyone seemed so happy to see me, It truly felt like a homecoming. We drank Jamaican smash, we danced, we laughed. Life was good.