It’s Amazing

Many things are amazing, but in this case it’s amazing to me that people seem to be reading (and finding) this little blog that is rarely updated and seems to not stay on topic.

I’m still trying to decide if a) i want to keep writing and if i do then b) what the heck do i write about?  Maybe it will be fluid, but maybe not.

Since it’s been a while I figured I’d throw up a quick post on the most exciting thing that’s happened to me in the last 3 months which was my trip to South Africa.

We spent 4 nights in Cape Town (actually staying just outside in Camps Bay) and then did another 3 nights at a game reserve in the eastern Cape.  It was amazing.  South Africa is a beautiful country and the people are so so kind.  I definitely hope to return in the future.

Without further ado, here are some photos.

 

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I know it’s a lot but it’s actually  nothing compared to the +1500 photos I actually took.  Narrowing it down was TOUGH!

I would gladly share more of my experience with anyone interested.  Definitely a bucket list item and a destination I completely recommend!

Stay tuned for whatever I decide to write about next.  🙂

I might run again tonight

Happy hump day!

It’s July 27th.  My last half marathon was on June 26th and since then I have not done any true running.  Yes, I’ve done some short bursts of running at OTF, but I have not gone out for a run, nor have I hit the treadmill to just run.

Quite honestly I haven’t had any desire to run.  I’ve been teaching two times a week and going to OTF two times a week (when I can) and it’s been nice to not feel that feeling of “I should go out for a run”.

The last training cycle (which was hardly training or even a cycle) left me with a lot of guilt, although that’s a strong word.  I felt guilty because while I was OK when I got out to run, I never really wanted to go.  There was a lot of “should” going on in my head.

I’m driven in some ways but not in other ways and running was just not one of those ways.  I wanted to do it and enjoy it, I didn’t want to feel like I had to do it.

I think the break has been good, and for the first time in a month, I’ve actually had tiny little feelings of wanting to run.  The weather here is still a bit hot for me, but I just may give it a go on the treadmill this evening.  We’ll see how it goes.  And if it doesn’t happen, that’s OK too, there will be another day.

Based on this attitude i’m sure you can guess that I’m not signed up for any more races (of any distance).  I’m going back and forth on the idea of a fall marathon, either the Sono Half (in my town, and my first) or the Philly Half.  I think I like the idea of the Philly Half more, but it’s $150 and I think that’s pretty insane!

In the meantime I’m trying my hardest not to get too bogged down with work and busyness of life.  I’m trying to enjoy things and do things, even when it means I’m busier than ideal.

This past weekend was just that.  Great but so busy.

Originally my plans were for later in the day on Saturday to meet my family in NYC after my parents saw a broadway show.  Then I decided that maybe my sister and I should see a show too, which turned into me going in to also have brunch beforehand.

So I hit OTF in the morning and then came home to shower and grab Minnie and we headed into the city.  I got to my sister around 11a, left Minnie in her apartment and headed to brunch.  From brunch we went back to my sister’s apartment and met up with my parents.  Hung out a bit and then headed downtown to the Broadway area.  My parents saw Beautiful and my sis and I saw Fiddler.  Both are great shows if you’re ever in the area and want to see a show.

Once the shows were over we met up and did some walking through central park.  Stopped at the Ballpark Grill for some sangria and then continued to make our way to dinner on the east side.  After dinner we grabbed an Uber back to my sister’s place, hung out a bit and then it was back to CT for me and the pup.

Got home around 10 and pretty much went directly to bed.

Sunday – up at 6:45a to prep a bit for my class at 8:15a.  Class was great.  Did a few errands afterwards because I was headed up to the Thimble Islands for the day.

The Thimble Islands are essentially an archipelago in the Long Island Sound off the coast of CT.  I believe it’s officially hundreds of islands of varying sizes; some simply a boulder, others large enough to have multiple dwellings.

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One of my friends has what they call a cottage on the island above the 5 in the picture above.

In all the years I’ve known her, I’ve never been.  To get there you take a “ferry”.  I’m putting this in quotes because it’s a rather small boat.

Ferry

I brought Minnie with me, so that was an added challenge as my lovely dog is quite afraid of the water.  I was pleasantly surprised with how well she handled the ferry.

So we made a 12p “ferry” and were to the island quite quickly.  My friends island is called  Money Island and I believe it has 30 or so homes on it.  While they do have running water, they do not have electricity, so it’s a bit rustic.

That said it is an absolutely wonderful place to be in the summer since you are surrounded by water and can truly just relax.

My other half actually went up Saturday and stayed till Monday and he enjoyed some fishing and clamming.  It’s amazing to be so removed from it all without actually being that far away.

My photos don’t do it justice, but here are a few.

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So pretty!  While you can’t just go to one of the island to hang out (they are privately owned), they do offer some Thimble Islands cruises and there were quite a few people waiting in line for those.

If you’re in the coastal CT area, I definitely recommend checking this area out.  I’m already hoping for another invite!

I took a “ferry” back around 7:30 and was home around 9.  It was a really busy weekend but it was absolutely wonderful!

How was your weekend?  Any race suggestions?  Have you done Philly?  Is it worth the $150 price tag??

I’m coming home!

This has been a long work trip.  Thankfully most of my trips are only a few days, at most a full work week, but this one came out to about 10 days, which is just too long for solo work travel.

But today was my last day in Korea and I’m heading home tomorrow!! (it’s 10pm in Korea)

Overall I really enjoyed my time in Korea and ended up enjoying it more than China.  Here are my thoughts/observations about the trip.  Please don’t take offense to anything, this was just my experience and not necessarily representative of an entire country.

  • China is dirty.  Shanghai was considerably cleaner than the smaller city I visited about 1.5 hours away.  You could actually smell the hint of chemicals in the air when you got off the train.  Shanghai is known for smog, so to return to the city and breathe in the comparably “fresh” air sums it up.
  • Some of the older Chinese have some really gross habits (smoking, coughing and spitting…lots of spitting, even indoors)
  • I didn’t see anyone exercising outdoors in China (perhaps due to the first bullet).
  • Shanghai is very diverse and you can find any type of food there, which was neat.
  • The drivers in China are nuts!  My cab ride to the airport was honestly the scariest car experience of my life.  I cried.  I’ve never cried in a car and hoped that i’d make it to the airport in one piece.  Traumatic.
  • Korea has lots of water and parks.  I saw so many people walking and riding bikes, which was refreshing after leaving Shanghai.
  • Korea also seems to be a really big fan of heated toilet seats.  They have the fanciest toilet seats I’ve seen and they’re all heated (even in public restrooms).
  • Both Shanghai and Seoul felt very safe, and I really appreciated that.

Overall it was a successful trip.  I will definitely return to Korea, but I’m not so sure about China.  Guess we’ll see what the wonderful world of business has in store for me for the future.

Today I’ll leave you with some food photos.

First, China.  These were cooked by a chef at a Chinese company I was visited.  They were made slightly more friendly to my American tastes but were still considered authentic.

Here’s some food from Korea.  Unfortunately I forgot to take photos of the earlier courses and there were a lot of them.  The food just kept coming and coming.  I even ate some stuff I’d never eat because I didn’t want to be rude.  (my semi-meat eating doesn’t really translate well to other countries).

So, looking forward to getting home and back to a routine.

Next up is the BAA 5K on 4/16.  Prior to that my OTF is supposed to open, so hopefully I can get there for a test workout.  I’m sure i’ll like it, just need to rationalize the extra expense.

Talk soon!  Have a great Monday!!!

More China

Here are the last of my China photos.  Enjoy (of if you’re not interested, skip the post).  🙂

The first set is from the Jing’an Buddhist Temple.

 

And these are from an area in Shanghai by the river called the Bund.  One side is historic buildings and the other side is the modern skyline, which is very well known.

 

And here’s a shot of Nanjing Road East, which is a pedestrian shopping area and is right near my hotel.

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That’s it for now.  Have a great day, I’m off to bed!

Checking in from China

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Well let’s just say it’s been quite the trip.  Here’s a super brief recap by day:
Monday – Monday magically disappeared due to the time change
Tuesday – Hello jet lag (didn’t leave my room)
Wednesday – Tradeshow fun, meetings with salespeople, and then dinner out in a nice area of Shanghai – We had Spanish food, how random?
Thursday – Bullet train to a smaller (and very polluted) city to see some manufacturing facilities
Friday – Food poisoning.  Good times!
Saturday -Today!  Finally able to venture out a bit.  Right now it’s the middle of the day and I’m taking a break.  Also because I prefer my hotel room toilet to the squat bins you find in public facilities.  Yikes!

Due to the craziness mentioned above, I haven’t made it to the gym once this trip.  May try for later today, but we’ll see.

There have been a few bumps in the road but i’m doing my best to enjoy today.  Tomorrow I’m off to Korea for a relatively quick trip before heading back home on Tuesday.  I can’t wait!!

Here are some photos of China, most of which were taken at Yu Gardens in Shanghai (or on the way to or from the gardens).

I put captions on a couple, but maybe you have to click on the individual photos to see them.

Heading back out in a bit to do some more sightseeing, so stay tuned for more photos.

Once this trip is over I will get back to the fitness aspect of the blog, I promise.

Enjoy your weekend!

Half Marathon #2 is in the books!

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This past Saturday was the half that I had been “training” for since January.  In case you missed it, I put training in quotes because while I did sign up for a training program with a group, I also spent about a month with a chest cold and then suffered from an extreme lack of motivation.

But…I had signed up for it and since my sister was coming up to run it, I was going to suffer through it.

She came up on Friday and after a ton of back and forth we took her to our favorite noodle place, Mecha.  We all ate way too much and went to bed stuffed.

The half started at 8 but we needed to pick up our bibs between 6:30-7:30.  My sis had wanted to have time to run a couple miles beforehand, so we planned to get there at 7.  Silly me hadn’t mapped out the distance before hand and while I thought it would take 30 minutes, the GPS was saying 45, so we were late to start.  Then when we got there we sat in race traffic trying to get to the parking lot.  Eventually we gave up and just parked on a side street.

It was chilly.  I think the actual temp was around 30 or 32.  I hemmed and hawed on what to wear and even brought alternates with me to the race.  That turned out to be a good thing because about 15 minutes before the start I decided to change my top.

It’s a small race (maybe 500-600 people) so there were no corrals or anything formal.  We headed out to the start. My sister to the front and me to the back.

I knew it was a hilly course, but since I like hills I wasn’t too worried.  I also had heard that the hills were in the middle, which sounded OK to me.  Off we went!

I felt OK, although I did periodically wonder how I was going to finish and I set mini-goals for myself.  Like run 6 without walking, or run 4 and then walk for a minute.  They kept changing so I didn’t really stick to any of them.

Miles 1-3 were flat and easy, along the shore.  Then we took a right turn right into a hill.  I powered through the hill and into a water stop.  At that water stop I made the decision that i’d take water at every stop and walk it.  At my last half I didn’t have enough water so I wanted to make sure that didn’t happen this time.

After that first hill was a nice downhill and then the real hills came.  I want to say there were probably 5 or 6 of them and they were insane.  As I came to the hills I had to ask myself if I should run them.  I knew I could run them but I also knew that I was way under-trained and successfully running a hill would probably mean I’d pay the price later in the race.  So I made the big decision to walk the big hills.  That’s a decision I wouldn’t normally make, but I went with it, since the goal here was to finish and not be too miserable.

Around mile 6 my stomach started gurgling and I actually had to take advantage of the porta-potty at the 6.5 water stop.  Unfortunately there was a cop ahead of me, so I had to wait for him too.  I felt better after that and felt somewhat OK till about mile 10.5 when everything started to hurt.  At that point I alternated between running and walking.  I met up with my sister somewhere around 11 or 11.5 and she ran/walked with me for a bit.  It was really hard last 2 miles, but I pushed through it and did manage to finish.

I ended up finishing about 10-15 minutes slower than my last half, which was OK considering I was fully prepared for that one and not at all for this one.

Yes, I would have loved to somehow magically sail in and run an awesome race, but I knew that wasn’t going to happen.  The goal of this race was literally to finish in one piece.  Not at all glamorous, but still a goal.  It was a learning experience.  🙂

Now my sister on the other hand, she is AMAZING and ended up finishing as the 4th woman and the 1st in her age group.  Her time was something like 1:29:29.  So impressive!  She blows me away with her running skill.

After the race we headed out for pizza and cocktails and then I took my sister to the train station and she headed home.  The rest of my day was slow moving and a little lazy and I needed to pack.

Because right now i’m in China!  (I didn’t take many pictures to begin with but any of them are on my personal phone, which is off while i’m here.)

From the time I left my parent’s house for the airport to when I arrived at my hotel in Shanghai took about 26 hours.  Ugh!  I flew to Hong Kong (15 hours) and then had a 2+ hour layover before my flight to Shanghai.  That flight ended up being delayed and then it took over an hour to get through customs.  Ugh!

Thankfully I scheduled today as a flex-day, meaning there wasn’t anything I HAD to do.  Jet lag hit me pretty hard and I haven’t even left the hotel room all day.  Fresh start tomorrow is what I’m hoping for.

And by the way, you can’t use Google, gmail, facebook, or instagram in China.  So odd.  I’m completely lost without Google Maps, especially in a new city.  Thankfully my work phone is an iphone so there are no issues there.

I’m off to order room service for dinner and then call it a night in hopes of feeling better tomorrow.

Have a great week!  Will try to post some photos when I can.

Jamaica me crazy

Seeing as I’ve been back from Jamaica for a bit, I figured it was time to finally write about it.  I was waiting to be able to post pictures and I had lost the cable for my camera.  It came in the mail yesterday thankfully.  Unfortunately half of my pictures are on a different camera and that one doesn’t seem to be cooperating. Oh well.

So vaca…

Our flight was on Wednesday at 5:50a so we were picked up about 2:45a and got to the airport by 4ish.  We had some mimosas in the limo. We were all pretty beat but also excited and ready to be on the beach.  The flight was scheduled to land around 8:35a which would have us to our hotel by noon (it’s a bit of a ride).

We were at the gate and around 4:30 they made a vague announcement about how there would be another announcement at 5:15.  Hmmm.  At 5:15 they mentioned an issue with the plane and said they were working on getting the part.  At 5:30 they said they couldn’t find the part and that they would be flying in a plane from Kingston and that we’d be departing at 12:30pm.  WHAT???  So it’s about 5:30a and our flight will be leaving in 7 hours!?!?!  Lovely.  But we get $12 food vouchers which of course makes the 7 hour delay perfectly fine (notice the sarcasm).  It was a long morning and we were all angry and pissed.  The airline did little to help but did allow people to change their flights free of charge (on the return).  Half of our group decided that since we’d lost a day, they’d return on Monday instead of Sunday, so they spoke with the woman at the desk and changed their flights.

Long story short, we finally got to our hotel around 7p.  We were happy to be there but we were tired and a but grumpy and still a little bitter.  We had some dinner and called it an early night.

The rest of the trip was great, lots of eating and drinking and time spent in the ocean, in the pool, and on the beach.  We were with a great group of people and we enjoyed just being on vacation and relaxing.

Having already stayed at this hotel, we didn’t really feel the need to do much off site.  I would have liked to have done some snorkeling and DJ diving, but with the lost day it just didn’t make sense.  We ventured off one day for lunch at a great jerk place but that was about it.

Our last day our pickup was at 1:30 and checkout was at noon.  Right around noon we were in the lobby and we see the half that was staying until Monday.  They look tense.  Turns out they called the airline to confirm and they had never actually changed their flight, so they would have had to go standby and these flights are pretty much always full.  So they had to rush to their rooms and pack up and check out.  Thankfully there was room on the 1:30 transfer.

Then at the airport the airline decides that they want to try to leave early so instead of boarding at 5pm as planned, they start boarding at 4p.  The idea of less time in the airport and getting home earlier was good, but how can an airline just deicde they feel like leaving early.  What’s the point of a scheduled flight?

So, let’s just say I don’t plan to use Caribbean Air anytime soon (which stinks since they have the best flight times).

And now here are a few pictures, like I said, some are on the other camera, but here’s a taste.

The beach at the hotel, so pretty!
View of the hotel, which is HUGE, that’s only about a quarter of it

  

The light in the pool makes my legs and arms look bizzare, which makes me laugh

 

Stop…perhaps in the name of love?

 

DJ thought the glasses looked like a Mario mustache

I think I have a few more scenery photos on the other camera, so once I get it working, I’ll add more pictures.

Aside from the hiccups it was a great vacation.  Too bad I had to come home and return to work 😦

Red and blue versus yellow and green

I’m back.  I will attempt to keep this post light on the words, but we’ll see how that goes.

First, good job Giants!  Way to pull out the win!

The alarm went off at 2:30a and we were out of the house just after 3a.  Our flight was out of NY at 6a.  Flight was great.  It was empty so we got to spread out.  I had 3 seats and was able to lie down.  Love that!  Somehow the folks at American Airlines even landed us in Chicago 40 minutes EARLY.  Picked up the rental and we were off!

The drive to Green Bay was about 3 hours.  It was easy.  No traffic, flat roads, not much in terms of scenery, but that’s OK.  Get to the hotel before noon, can’t check in yet, figures.  Change in the bathroom.  When I say change, I mean load on the layers.  I had on thermals under my jeans, two pairs of socks and uggs, then a tank, t-shirt, thermal, and a sweatshirt.  Over all this I had a HUGE long jacket and a jersey.  I looked beautiful!

Time to meet up with some other Giants fans and do some tailgating.  Very fun!

Green Bay Packer fans are off the hook!  Seriously, they are some of the nicest fans I have EVER met.  I had heard this was the case but really didn’t get it until I met them.  After the game (they had lost), so many of them came up to us to say congrats, wish us good luck, and even thank us for coming to their town.  If only NY was like that!

Overall it was an amazing experience and I am so glad we went.  Now here are some photos.

We made it!!
Lambeau field - This was the view from the backyard of the house we parked at
Our sweet set up
The guy on the left (a Packers fan) gave us that whole tray of sandwiches. So nice!

Look at all that blue!

 

New Orleans re-cap

Happy 2012!  I hope you all had lovely holidays and happy new years!

As I mentioned, I took a bit of a hiatus from the computer (and man did it feel good!).  But I’m back and figured I’d do a quick post to re-cap the last week, which involved no working out and a ton of eating.

Tuesday through Friday I was in New Orleans with the family.  We did lots of eating but also lots of walking, which helped negate the eating.  Of course I partook in beignets (trying both Cafe DuMonde and Cafe Beignet to see which was better) and lots of other New Orleans food.

It was a great trip and the icing on the cake was the fact that it was 73 degrees and sunny on Friday.  It felt like spring which was invigorating.  I really love warm weather.

So here are a bunch of photos that I took and I will get back to a normal post in the next day or so.