3.25.2015

Currently: March




Current Book - Allegiant. I am nearly finished. I also just finished the Vacationers (bleh) and started Tiny Beautiful Things.

Current Running Path - It is about 1 mile to the trails from my house so I have been doing a lot of running in my local hills lately.


Current Drink - Sparkling water. It feels sort of special.


Current Excitement - My trip to Portland this weekend! 


Current Podcast - PRI's The World, which is a daily news show. It's nice to catch up on the world events while on the bus or while running.


Current Garden Item -N/A. Well actually, there are a lot of weeds!


Current Love -The weather. I love spring!

Current Food - There have been a lot of  boring meals in my life lately...chili, stew, pasta, and the regular line up of fruit and cereal and nuts...

Current Indulgence - A new laptop. I got this one. I am still getting used to it because it has Windows 8 and a touch screen, whereas my current laptop has Vista. 

Currently Pondering - How the heck I am going to run a 100k this weekend with serious lack of training. I know I can do it, but it's going to be rough. The fact that this was supposed to be an A race is kind of hard for me as well. 


Current Mood -
Unmotivated. I don't feel like running, or doing anything... I think I have spring fever. 

Current New Find - My local grocery store has a tiny second store about 1 mile further down the road and there is no line, even on weekends! Score. 

Current Peeve - When the bus driver is late, which makes me late for work and throws off my morning. 
 
Current Song - I am really having fun with a throwback radio station that we have here, which plays old Snoop Dogg and other fun 90s rap. I mean, who doesn't love Gin and Juice?


Current Triumph - Finally my ankle is better! Now I just need to get back into shape.... 
 
Current TV Show -  N/A. We got rid of cable and got Netflix, but I don't really use it that much. 

Current Wish-List - I have a few secret wishes right now. One I can tell you is that I want a really light, really warm sleeping bag. However, they do not come cheap, so I am biding my time... This one has really good reviews and may be what I am looking for.

Currently Delaying -Working out / running. I have a race this weekend and am using that as my excuse to "taper" (aka: do nothing and eat a lot). 

What is on your wish list? What are you pondering these days?  

3.20.2015

Friday Recap

The high of my week was a nice dinner out with my team from work. We have a deal with our boss; if we make a certain amount of money in one month, he springs for dinner. Last night we went to Michael Mina and had a 5 course tasting menu. The food was good and the company was even better! It's so nice to all get together outside of work; you really feel like you get to know everyone a little bit better. We spend a lot of time together, but these outings are still one of my favorite things!

The low of my week was a couple of silly things at work kind of set me off this week. Sometimes working with all guys is fabulous; there really is not a lot of drama. However, sometimes they joke around too much and getting them to focus is challenging. This week there were a couple of those times...

The book I am reading is The Vacationers and Allegiant. I am midway through the Vacationers and it is okay so far. I have not really started Allegiant yet. I just finished The Martian and thought it was a great book!

The workouts I did were a long run on Saturday and Sunday, a short run on Tuesday and Thursday and an elliptical/core workout on Wednesday. I am finally almost feeling back to normal, although I do still have a tiny cough and my ankle is not at 100% (maybe it's at 95% though, so I will take it).

The best money I spent was on a flight to Europe. I hemmed and hawed over it for a long time because it was quite expensive and I was really hoping the price would go down, but finally I just bit the bullet and bought it. I don't have anything else planned yet, but knowing I have the flight makes me feel a lot better.

My plans this weekend include some running and probably some relaxing, as this is the last weekend in a while that I will be home for and do not have a lot of plans scheduled. From now until September, I literally have about 2 "free" weekends.

What are your plans for the weekend? What book are you reading?

3.17.2015

Summer Flurries

Some things fill up fast in the summer and lately I have been in a mood to plan. This means the summer weekends are nearly all booked! Here are some of the things I am looking forward to in the next few months:

Oregon:  In a few weeks, I head north for the Gorges 100k, which will not be my best race, but it will be a lot of fun, and I expect some great beer at the end. Later this year I will go to Sisters for my annual girls' trip with my friend, her two girls and her mom. This year her sister and three kids are going to join us, so it's going to be a gaggle of girls!

Mt. Washington, Oregon

Yosemite: I have been several times, but can never get enough. So much so, in fact, that I have not one but two trips planned to the Sierra Nevada mountains near Yosemite this summer. The first trip will be in May for my parent's anniversary and the next will be in August for some trail running and hiking. I got really lucky and got a campsite (you basically have to camp on line all the time until one opens up) for both weekends. I am really looking forward to some fun times out in the mountains!

Colorado: Lisa and I just booked a weekend in Colorado in late May where we will do lots of hiking. Check out this site, which has a ton of great looking hikes! I only hope that the snow is gone enough for us to do some of the higher routes. However, if not, we are happy to go wherever the wind takes us! I am really excited because I have always heard about how great the hikes are in Colorado, and have even been looking into some Ultraracing there. This will be a great preview for possible trail races as well as a fun time with a friend who I have not seen in a while!

Tahoe:  TRT Training Run: Last year I did this, and it was a ton of fun. This is a weekend in June where you go up to Tahoe and do back to back training runs on the weekend. This is a great way to get used to the elevation while also enjoying great scenery and hanging out with a bunch of great people.  TRT: The actual 100 mile race is in July and I am looking forward to finishing this race and having a great time doing it!

Tahoe Rim Trail

Europe: A friend of mine got into UTMB, which is 100+ mile race around Mont Blanc, and I am planning on heading there with her for some running, hiking, good food and a bit of exploration. Things are really just starting to come together, so I will have more on this later!

Mayerhofen, Austria

Besides these fun travel plans (and I love the planning them!) the weekends are also full of races, family time and other events which have pretty much taken up every weekend. I am not complaining, but I will have to start booking some "free" weekends before I get too crazy!

What do you have planned for this summer? Where has been your favorite place you have ever traveled to? What is your favorite place that you go year after year?

3.11.2015

Random Ramblings

- The other day I was walking to the bus stop and my bus cruised right past me, about two minutes early. This bus goes from Oakland, where I live, to San Francisco. I hopped on the next bus, which goes to downtown Oakland where I would have to transfer in order to get into the city. As I got on, the driver asked if I had missed my regular bus. I told him that the bus had been early and had passed me up. He said, "I'll catch it for you!" and proceeded to slam on the gas and do a high speed bus chase through Oakland. If there were people waiting at stops, he would open the door before he even got to them and would rush them onto the bus. It was hilarious! We ended up catching my bus, and the driver flagged it down and made the other driver wait so I could get on. I have never had so much excitement at 5 in the morning! It was fun!

- I am having issues finishing books lately. I started one I thought I would really like about the strife between the Hutu and the Tootsies in Rwanda, but it just didn't catch my attention and I ended up putting it down after about 20 pages. Then I started another about traveling in Chile that looked really great, and I am still working on it, but it's slow going. I just started a third book (at the same time) and am about 7 pages in and so far, it's so-so. I am not sure if my attention span has changed or what, but it's really frustrating because when I am not enjoying a book, I tend to procrastinate reading, which is something I normally enjoy!

- My boss asked me the other day if I could define "extravagant". I told him what I thought it was and then he asked me what the last extravagant thing was that I have done. I had a hard time thinking of anything! I have traveled, but usually I stay in cheaper hotels and often eat picnic foods. I don't really buy myself clothes or jewelry. I sometimes go out for an expensive meal, which is extravagant to me. What would you say if someone asked you that? What "wasteful" things do you spend your money on?

- I think there is something in the air these days. Three people I know are making huge job changes (and several others are thinking about it)! It is hard to change jobs after years in one industry (trust me, I know), but I am of the camp that it is worth it, even if it means a pay cut or a move to a different city. It is hard at first, and it sucks having to relearn a bunch of new things, but in the end, it often works out. A friend of mine worked for YEARS for the government, and all of a sudden up and decided to move from the Midwest to San Francisco to go to culinary school. This was 10 years ago, and now she is a successful restaurant owner and she is 100% happier than she was before. Sometimes the sacrifice is totally worth it!

What is on your mind today? What are you reading? Have you ever made an extreme career move (or thought about it)?

3.06.2015

Friday Fun

The high of my week was a nice dinner out with friends who are soon moving across the country! It's been too long since I have seen them and it was great to catch up and talk about their exciting new plans for the future.

The low of my week was the sickness. It still has not completely gone away!

The book I am reading right now is called Travels in a Thin Country, about a woman who travels the length of Chile. To be honest, it's not as good as I thought it would be. Since I love traveling, I always like reading about other people's adventures. However, for some reason, this book is not capturing my attention like I thought it would.

For my workouts, I completed two days of elliptical / core, two long runs and one short run. It's been so nice outside lately, but I have not had ANY motivation to run, even though I am happy once I get out there.

Bald Mountain, Sonoma County

The best money I spent was...I am drawing a blank here. I don't think I really spent any money this week. Oh! I went to the grocery store and bought some salsa fixings for my brother, which cost me about $5. So I guess that's the best money I spent!

My plans this weekend include a trip to Auburn to cheer and spectate some friends who are running the Way too Cool 50k, a hike with a friend and probably organizing and backing up my computer, as it is on it's last legs.

How was your week? What are you up to this weekend?

3.03.2015

Looking Back: February

February was a strange month; to summarize: it was short, I did not run much, and it did not rain. We were lucky to have very nice weather compared to some of the other parts of the country; other than that, here are a couple of other things that happened.

Reading: Due to not running, I read 9 books this month. Most were only so-so, but there were a few that tickled my fancy, as well as one that I ended up not finishing, as I just wasn't in the mood for the genre. I don't really give books 5 stars, but there were a few that I gave 4 stars to:

Code Name Verity - Elizabeth Wein (this was my favorite of the bunch)
The Soldier's Wife - Margaret Leroy
Attachments - Rainbow Rowell
Wonder - R.J. Palacio

Running: This month was supposed to be the high month of my 100k training plan, which would be about 240 miles. However, first I sprained my ankle and then just as that was starting to heal, I got a really bad cold, which took me out for a couple of weeks. So it was not what I wanted it to be, and my race is not going to be what I wanted it to be, but I did manage to get some runs in, bringing my monthly total to about 140 miles.

Travel: Since I was sick, this month consisted of a lot of bed time. However, I did go to Sacramento for a race, and I took a little trip out of town for the long weekend for some hiking and snowshoeing.

Mt. Shuksan

Was your "short month" long or did it go by fast? Did you go anywhere for the holiday weekend?

2.25.2015

Europe 2014: Munich

Last year, as I have mentioned, I rewarded myself with a trip to Europe after passing my exams for work. I never really got around to posting anything, as that time in my life was quite busy! The trip was very last minute, but all I knew was that I wanted to do something active. I narrowed it down to Argentina, Peru and the Alps, but didn't make my final decision until about three weeks before I left, which is totally not like me. I finally decided on an Alpine vacation, since September was the perfect time of year for hiking in the Alps.

I started off my trip with a pit stop in New York for Labor Day to visit with my parents. After having a great time wandering, running and eating with them, I headed East once again, this time to Frankfurt, Germany. Why Frankfurt, you ask? Well, it's a long story, but basically it was much cheaper to fly to Frankfurt and take the train to wherever I wanted than to fly to where I wanted. So, Frankfurt it was! I took the red eye, which put me into Frankfurt in the morning. I immediately found a train to Munich, and had a very enjoyable train ride southward. I arrived in Munich in the late morning and although I was quite tired, I had a quick coffee, grabbed my camera, and headed out to see what I could find.

Glockenspiel

The best part about Munich was all of the fresh fruit stands, beer stands/halls, the bikes and the bakeries. Don't get me wrong, there were a ton of awesome buildings and of course there was the Glockenspiel, but I really enjoyed the laid back biking atmosphere and the smell of fresh bread. I got my fill of it all, literally and figuratively, and then headed to the Lidl, which is the European grocery store, for some supplies for the next day. Perhaps my kilo to pound conversion is off a bit, but it seemed like the fruit there was really cheap! 

Hofbrauhaus

Fruit Stand

I went to bed around 8 pm and woke up the next day around 7 am very refreshed. Take that, jet lag! The first thing I did was to take a nice run around town. The funny thing was that it seemed like there were no other runners out. I saw two other people the entire time I was running, which was about 6 miles. I ran up to the English Gardens (Englischer Garten) which is a huge park. The coolest part of that was that there were surfers in the waterways! I guess that is one way to get your surf on when you don't have an ocean nearby!

Picnic Lunch

English Garden Surfers

After my run, I had a nice breakfast of bread, cheese, cold cuts and fruit and I boarded a train headed south towards Austria.

Have you ever been to Germany? What is the price of an apple per pound where you live? Do you eat out when traveling or do you picnic?