Saturday, July 31, 2010


Best time in a sprint tri ever (so far!!).  More to come...

Friday, July 30, 2010

Five Senses Friday

  • My brightly painted pink nails
  • The water is warm - this from another swimmer who had just finished swimming in Lake Washington
  • Drumstick ice cream!!  It was ice cream day at work.
  • Poked and prodded as not only did the doctor take blood, but also a tetanus shot.  I hate needles!!
  • I'm drawing a blank on this one...
I'm off to Portland for my race tomorrow morning!!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

My Life List

While I enjoy my 33 Things list, the time limit can be, well limiting!  So I decided to expand and create a life list (inspired by the many life lists out there).  But no rules, no time limitations, and I can add (or subtract) at any time.  Watch this space for updates & progress!
  1. Run in the NYC Half Marathon
  2. Complete an Olympic (or International) distance triathlon
  3. Complete a Half Iron Man distance triathlon
  4. Buy a DSLR*
  5. Take a class to learn how to use DLSR*
  6. Purchase a Disney timeshare*
  7. Buy a house/townhome/condo
  8. Visit Macchu Piccu
  9. Visit the Pyramids
  10. Visit the Grand Canyon
  11. Write a novel
  12. Visit Washington D.C.
  13. Visit the Northeast in the fall to see the leaves
  14. Attend a Duke basketball game at Cameron Indoor Stadium
  15. Attend a fancy dress ball
  16. Take a month (or two) off work to travel
  17. Take road trip through California
  18. Ride in a hot air balloon
  19. Step foot on all 7 continents
  20. Walk a portion of the Great Wall of China
  21. Visit Alaska
  22. One I will keep to myself
  23. Get down to the weight on my driver’s license
  24. Take a road trip through Ireland
  25. Take a dance class*
  26. Visit Tokyo Disneyland
  27. Finish a sprint distance triathlon in under 2 hours
  28. Get a pedicure (which would require me to get over my issues with feet!)
  29. Become conversant or at least comfortable speaking another language
  30. Finish a half marathon in under 3 hours
  31. Learn how to play chess
  32. Be able to do a wheel in yoga
  33. Run a 10K

* Also part of my 33 Things list. 

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Swedish 5K SummeRun

I was in a fairly optimistic frame of mind when I decided to run 12 5Ks as part of my 33 Things.  And then reality sets in - I had thought to do one a month and here it is almost the end of July.  Fortunately the Swedish SummeRun was this weekend. 

I got to the race site early, in time to sign up for the race.  First time I didn't pre-register!  Registration was a piece of cake and I changed into my race shirt, stretched, used the port-o-potty and stretched some more.  The 10K runners set off to the sounds of a live band.  I absolutely love the start of a race!!  And the live band was great!

After the 10Kers had started, the 5Kers lined up.  I took my spot in the 10 and higher pace section.  We were counted down and off we went!  I do have to say, people were lined up pretty well pace-wise.  I didn't have to run over too many people and not too many people ran over me.

My goal for this race was to run as much as I could, hopefully only walking through the water stop.  To continue with the hill theme, the race basically started off with a downhill.  Oh great, this will be loads of fun on the way back.  But for now I'll enjoy the downhill.  It took me awhile to find my rhythm but then I slow and steady through Mile 1.  Okay, I can do this.  I was starting to falter when I saw what I thought was the water stop.  It wasn't, but it got me to the next downhill.  And after the downhill was the water stop!  Hooray!  I grabbed water and walked until I had finished my water and started running again.  And then it was Mile 2!!  I got this.  I knew I had it, but my mind needed more convincing.  Especially up the next hill.  At the top of the hill was when the back caught back up with the out and there was still a ton of people walking.  The cheers from the walkers helped with the convincing.  Less than a mile, less than a mile.  I can do this.  And then it was the hill from the beginning of the race.  It wasn't this long at the beginning was it?  Why did the hill grow?  I am so close - I have to keep going.  Can't I walk?  No, you are almost there, you can make it!  Right foot, left foot, keep going and then I was at the top!  And there was the Mile 6 sign (for the 10Kers).  Only 2 tenths of a mile, so got this.  Before I knew it, the finish line was in sight.  I could see the clock and it had just turned to 59:00.  I knew we started about 20 minutes after the 10Kers, so if I could make it across the finish line before it turned to 60:00 I would have finished in about 40 minutes, while not my best time, still good for me.  Now it was down to me & the clock.  I'm not sure what the exact time was, but it still said 59 so mission accomplished! 

Race done, I hopped back in my car and headed for church.  I was fairly positive God wouldn't mind if I showed up for church sweaty, but I wasn't sure about the people I would be sitting next too.  I quickly toweled off with the free towel they gave us and called it good.

Race done, church done - next up was hot yoga.  I've found hot yoga after a run really does help me loosen up and stretch out.  It was a hard class, but we did do some hip work, which was good.

What was my actual time?  I'd like to know that as well.  My time is not showing up on the results page.  I'm hoping they just haven't uploaded everyone's time and eventually it will show up and my time is not lost forever.  Another reason why I really need to buy my Garmin watch so I can keep track of my time myself.  Hmm, another car payment redirection perhaps?

Say What?

First off, I left out one tiny detail from my post yesterday.  And that would be the lake swim!  How did I forget that?  Freezing cold once again, but fortunately no fish this time!  The nagging slow feeling was still there.  The sun was out though and the sun beams cutting through the water kept playing tricks on me.

So how did I end up signing up for 4 triathlons in 8 weeks?  Yeah, I'm not sure I thought this through.  This is will be my fifth year doing sprint triathlons.  I really like the sprint distance - it isn't too far, but does require some training, at least for me.  I did find myself feeling a little complacent towards training and I'm not quite ready to jump to the next level.  So what to do to bump up the excitement level?  Add a couple of races!  The 2 in Seattle were no brainers.  It's the course I'm most familiar with and they are a month apart to keep me focused on training.  The next one I signed up for is the one taking place next weekend in Portland - I've been looking at this race for awhile now and finally decided to go ahead and do it.  Three triathlons, that is a good number.  It'll keep me busy and trained. 

When did 3 turn into 4?  Problem with working a lot is that at 10 p.m. at night when I'm still at the office, all I can think about is vacation.  And Italy is not until November.  Okay then, where to go and what to do?  Labor Day is right in the middle of my triathlon season and guess what is happening at Disney World?  That's right - a triathlon!  It was almost too perfect.  But the cost...  But I just paid off my car!!  I can direct a car payment (or two) towards a trip to Disney World before redirecting to other avenues.  Sounds too perfect!  I'll be going by myself, but it'll be fun.  And you are never really alone at Disney World!!  After all, Mickey lives there.

And that's how I ended up signing up for 4 triathlons in 8 weeks.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Hill Yeah!!

A week from today and I will be done with triathlon #1!  Which means it is time for another dedicated training post as not only is it one week from my first triathlon, but two weeks after that it will be triathlon #2 (and the "A" race), three weeks after that will be triathlon #3, and two weeks after that will be triathlon #4.  To recap, that will be 4 triathlons in 8 weeks.  Wow, this is going to be an interesting few months.  And on to the training.

The pool swim was status quo, except I was feeling slow, as though I was swimming through molasses.  I tried to shake off the feeling and power through.  It's such a mental game.  I started playing games with myself, trying to finish a length in less strokes as the one previous, which did help with slow feeling. 

I finally took advantage of the beautiful weather we've been having and rode my bike after work.  I knew it was time to start working on hills so it was off to what I consider my "hill" park.  Besides lots and lots of hills, this park has the added benefit of being part of the actual course for 2 of my triathlons.  The first three hills feel like one long ginormous hill.  My motto became shift down, shift down (said in a way as to exaggerate the daaoooown).  A short downhill and a flat and then it was my personal nemesis uphill.  It is long and windy and doesn't seem to end.  Last year I had to stop each time for a breather before finishing the hill.  Not this time!!  I started off and 20 revolutions later I shifted down, 20 revolutions later I convinced myself to go another 20 revolutions before shifting down.  This pattern continued until I was at the crest of the hill!  Woohoo!!  That's enough hills for today right?  I can turn around and go home now, can't I?  I did seriously consider it for a second (or 3) but kept going.  After all, I only had 2 more uphills and all these downhills to enjoy on the way back.  So I kept going.  Down the hill and across the bridge, and up the final hill before turning around where I paused for a picture (pausing for a picture is code for taking a break).  It was on the way back that I started feeling slow again.  On the second uphill, the slowness really kicked in.  I stood up and started pedaling.  I normally try not to stand up since someone once told me you get more power from pedaling sitting down.  But the burst of energy propelled me to top of the hill.  My reward?  Mostly downhill back to the car!!  Slow or not, I did manage to conquer some hills which was the goal. 

Today it was another brick.  Normally my long trail day is Sunday, but I switched it this week to run a 5K on Sunday and so it was interesting being there on a Saturday.  My observation was that there was a lot more recreational people, as opposed to serious people.  There were times where I was feeling quite slow on the bike, but then others when I was feeling really good.  Evidence that I was slow - lots of recreational people blowing by me.  Evidence that I wasn't - I finished right on time.  Again, I think it is a huge mental game and for whatever reason I was in a very slow frame of mind this week.  The run went well.  I went the opposite way than I normally do because it was much more shady in the opposite direction!

Add in hot yoga and kickboxing and you have my week.  So other than the feeling of slowness that infiltrated my training, it was a good week!  As per usual, the nerves are settling in and will remain for the duration.  This isn't my "A" race, and I know I'll finish, so what is there to worry about?  And since I haven't done this one before, it'll be fun trying out a new course!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Five Senses Friday

  • Lots of deer
  • I swear everywhere I look lately I see Mt. Rainier
  • Very good friends for a GNO at Azul!!
  • Coyotes howling
  • A very yummy cheeseburger made by my BIL, topped with lettuce from my sister's garden
  • Roasted corn & avocado dip at Azul!!
  • Much more in line after my visit to the chiropractor
  • Wildflowers

For more Five Senses, head over to Abby Try Again!  Happy Friday!

Monday, July 19, 2010


We've already done what goes on in Emily's mind during a run, and now let's see what goes through Emily's mind during a hot yoga class.

Yes!  Got a spot near the door!

I really hope I drank enough water before class...

Maybe I shouldn't have eaten that granola bar though - it has been a couple of hours, I should be okay.

Child's pose.

Really, why do the teachers tell us to back off the posture if we can't breathe in and out through our nose?  Don't they know I wouldn't be doing any poses?

Yes I'm the only one doing the modified chaturanga.  Oh well, yoga is individual - no judging, no comparing.  Please don't judge me.  Which also means me - focus on me and my mat.

What's my intention for class?  Mm, it's a surviving kind of night.  I will survive class.

Stupid chair, I hate chair.  I seriously think it is my least favorite pose (or my most hated).

Twist.  Nope, shouldn't have eaten that granola bar.

Another twist.  Wow, shouldn't have had that last sip of water either.

Dolphin to forearm plank.  Joy.  Plankety plank plank.  Yep, down on my knees.  Only 10 more seconds.

Shaking is good.  Isn't 10 seconds over already?

Yeah, I'm skipping this chaturanga.

Seriously, another chair?  With a twist?  My thighs are burning!!  Which, like shaking, is supposed to be a good thing. 

Dear Teacher, please, please, please open the door!  Love, Emily

Oh yeah!  Standing series.  I am going to make it. 

I like eagle! 

I like tree!  And it's the last one!

Wait, what?  You said tree was the last, why are we doing more?  Why aren't we on the floor?

Okay, I know this is hot yoga.  But really, it has to be a gagillion degrees in here tonight.  And no I'm not exaggerating..  At all.  Seriously - a gagillion degrees.

Whew she opened the door.  Okay, I can do it - hold on, hold on, hold on!  Right side done.

If I did the right side, I need to do the left.  Dig in, only standing split left.

Are you serious?  More flow?  Okay, if it results in half pigeon, I can do it.

I like half pigeon.  Well not really, but wow, it is helping my hip. 

Breathe in, breathe out.  Through the nose.

Yeah, the granola bar was not a good idea.  My tummy is not happy.

Onto abs.  Yay!  Almost done.

If it is super humid in here (which also means it probably isn't a gagillion degrees - it's just super humid), can't you please open the door again?  Just a smidge?  Pretty please?

Air, nice cold air!!

Add bicycle to the list of things I hate.

You said only 10 more!!  I don't know that I can go another 10!

You said only 10 more!!  Seriously, I don't know that I can do another 10!  And for the record that was 30 bicycles.

Bridge.  You know what?  I think I'm going to add wheel to my Life List if I ever get around to finishing it. 

Bridge pulses - I can do this.

Well I can do 8 of them. 

Oh thank goodness!  Savasana!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Go Jump in the Lake

I'm not sure why I decided it was time for a training only post, but here we go.  Maybe it was the reality of my first triathlon being just 2 weeks away!!  Two weeks away, really?  Time to get swimbikerunning!

The training week started off with a run on the treadmill.  Next up was a pool swim.  I was about half way through when someone asked to share my lane.  No problem.  Until she left behind in her wake.  I had been feeling a little off my normal pace, but I didn't think I was that slow.  And then my highly observant self finally realized she was wearing flippers.  Okay, so I wasn't that slow.  Sometimes sharing a lane can be helpful in pushing me.  After she blew by me, I decided to see if I could finish before she passed me again.  She kept creeping up on me until she was right on my tail with 3 lengths to go.  Somehow I was able to dig deep and find some afterburners to finish just ahead of my lane mate.

There comes a time to say goodbye to the pool and hello to Lake Washington.  Friday morning was that day.  My boss thought it was hilarious that I told her I was going to go jump in the lake.  I am not a huge fan of swimming in the lake what with the lake grass and the fish.  The lake was cold.  I did my usual slow slide into the water and then it was time to get down to business.  There was one obnoxious fish (although I'm sure he felt the same about me).  He got way too close a couple of times and I jumped out of the water each time.  I finally figured that if I avoided this one area we were good.  So I kept to my side and didn't see the fish again.

With race day fast approaching, it was also time for my first brick* of the season.  The wind on the out was not fun, but on the way back it was even worse.  I'm a little worried about the bike this year - my normal ride doesn't have a lot of hills, and the hills it does have are baby hills.  I decided to work on my non-drafting.  While I understand not drafting in theory, putting it into practice is a little more difficult.  I am not the best judging spacially and three bike lengths is hard.  I mean the point is to not be on the wheel of the person in front of you so as long as I'm far enough back it should be okay.  I'm a rule follower so I like to be in compliance with the rules.  I didn't have to worry about people passing me since they flew by and were way more than 3 bike lengths ahead in no time.  But I did pass a few people and tried to keep 3 lengths behind until I passed and then pass within 15 seconds.  Hopefully I'll remember this all during the race!

I finished up the bike, threw it in my car, and was off on the run.  The wind hadn't diminished.  I walked from the parking lot to the trail, shaking out my legs and then I was off and running.  I ended up running most of the 2 miles.  I feel much more ready with a brick under my belt.

(*A brick is when you do two different sports during the same workout.)

Sprinkle in a few hot yogas and one kickboxing class and you have my week.  Up next week?  More lake swim, more brick, and hopefully some hill work on my bike.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Five Senses Friday

  • Eclipse (in IMAX) - after reading the books I leaned towards Team Jacob, after seeing New Moon, I was definitely Team Jacob, but I do have to say after watching Eclipse I'm liking Edward better.
  • Still a little run down, but much better than last week!
  • Coffee, lots of coffee - it has been a coffee kind of week
  • My alarm too early in the morning
  • Not much since my nose is still cranky
No training this week as I'm planning on doing a real training post later on...

For more Five Senses, check out Mandi and Abby Try Again.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Hello Run

Hello run, swimbike has missed you!  Work has lightened up and I was able to leave before 7!  Woohoo!!  That has not happened in awhile.  What to do with all this time?  Go home and sleep?  Or go for a run?  Since my "run" has been basically non-existent, I decided it was about time to kick it back into gear (especially considering my first triathlon is in 2 weeks!!).  The sun was shining and I really wanted to go to the park but it was much easier to walk across the parking lot and hit the gym.  So the treadmill it was.  My plan was 2 miles or 30 minutes, whichever came first.  The 2 miles came first - whew!  I haven't lost all my running skills.  Instead of running X songs and walking 1, I decided to mix it up and run 5 minutes, walk 1.  The 5 minutes quickly turned into 6 and I was still feeling good after 2 miles.  Time to start building the base back up again.

Usually what happens when I work a lot, my vacation dreaming increases as well.  And with no real vacation to look forward to until November (Italy), an advertisement about a triathlon in Disney World can seriously attract you and then you do things like sign up for it, because you want to go on vacation and the triathlon is in Disney World (yes, I realize I have a severe Disney addiction and might need an intervention).  I haven't actually signed up (yet) but I am seriously considering it...maybe after I sleep some I will be a bit more rational.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

List #9 My Favorite Ponts (aka Bridges)

I'm taking a break for moment and thought it might be time for another list.  And since my travel plans for this year are shaping up to be Italy, which is the home of my absolute favorite pont and also my seventh favorite pont (or bridge, most or ponte - I just really like saying my favorite pont) I thought it would be fun to list my favorite bridges.  I have walked (or biked) across every single one of these bridges, except for the 25th of April Bridge.

1.  Ponte Vecchio (Florence, Italy)

2.  Pont Neuf (Paris, France)

3.  Charles Bridge / Karlov Most (Prague, Czech Republic)

4.  Tower Bridge (London, England)

5.  Brooklyn Bridge (New York , NY)

6.  Golden Gate Bridge (San Francisco, CA)

7.  Rialto Bridge (Venice, Italy)

8.  Chain Bridge (Budapest, Hungary)

9.  25th of April Bridge (Lisbon, Portugal)

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Much Ado About Nothing

For those of you who have read my blog for awhile, you might have noticed that I complain.  A LOT!!  Seriously, I can find just about anything to complain about - my favorite topic lately?  The office move and now that we have moved, the new building.  Speaking of which (yep, another complaint!) is it too much to ask that the bathroom be stocked with toilet paper and paper towels?  I am not a fan of the new building.  If there was a "dislike" option for the new building, I would select it. 

Beware when I’m tired. The complaints flow out of my mouth like lava, swiftly and continuously. Just ask my co-workers. Common “Emily” phrases when I am tired (and sometimes when I am not)? Stupid this. I hate that. The thing is I don’t really mean anything by the complaints. For the most part, I don’t expect anything to come of them. It’s cathartic on my part. Once I’ve complained, I feel better. I’ve expressed my frustration, or made my point, and I can move on. Done, end of story. I like to complain. There I said it. I like to complain.

What brought on this foray into complaining?  We have been working late and usually when we are working late, there is some sort of theme or contest or phrase that will get picked up.  This time, it is an Oscar competition. We earn Oscars for being overly dramatic.  How did this start?  I was complaining about something, and apparently being very dramatic in my complaining and I earned an Oscar.  I earned two more in quick fashion, I think about a meeting or a workpaper.  At the moment I am tied for first place with 4 Oscars. We’ll see what the final tally ends up being.

Friday, July 09, 2010

Five Senses Friday

This week was not the most stellar of weeks.  And although I can complain with the best of them, relatively it wasn't that bad.  I had what I thought was a bad case of allergies but in actuality was a summer cold.  I think I was blowing my nose for 3 days straight (maybe 4).  I indulged in coffee today as the cold medicine I took last night knocked me for a loop.  No training this week - late nights at work and the cold saw to that. 

  • Another beautiful sunset (this time from the patio outside my cube - one of the only good things to come out of the move)
  • The whirring of the fan that now sits on my desk
  • Lemon cough drops
  • Pizza!!  When you don't have dinner planned and it's almost 8 p.m. and you are still at work with hungry people, pizza seems to be the best option (Pizza Hut Veggie Thin Crust)
  • Crummy, with a very sore nose
  • Not much of anything due to my nose

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

To be a Princess

Well folks, it is time to test my new “cleansed” eating habits. We are entering a two week stretch where I will be at work for most of my waking hours. Ah, the joys of being an accountant. I can plan for it, so it isn’t too bad. But the downside is that the gym, training, and normal eating are usually thrown out the door for walking the stairs, coffee and pizza (and sometimes diet coke and/or diet dr. pepper). So we’ll see how it goes. Jessica and I are planning on taking turns making and bringing in quinoa for at least one meal.

Speaking of quinoa – I tried a new recipe (from Epicurious).

Quinoa Risotto with Mushrooms and Thyme
 • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed
• 1 tablespoon olive oil
• 1 1/2 cups chopped onion
• 1 garlic clove, pressed
• 1 8-ounce package sliced crimini (baby bella) mushrooms
• 6 ounces fresh shiitake mushrooms, stemmed, sliced
• 3 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme, divided
• 1 cup dry white wine (substituted vegetable broth)
• Grated Parmesan cheese

Bring 2 cups salted water to boil in medium saucepan. Add quinoa, reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until tender and water is absorbed, about 13 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and sauté until onion begins to brown, 5 minutes. Add garlic; stir 30 seconds. Add mushrooms and thyme. Sautée; until mushrooms are tender, 6 minutes. Add wine; stir until wine is reduced and liquid is syrupy, 2 minutes.

Mix quinoa into mushroom mixture; season with salt and pepper. Pass cheese separately.

It turned out good (if you like mushrooms!) but maybe not as risotto-y as I would have thought. Alas, no pictures – I wasn’t at home and didn’t have my camera.

So, registration opens today for the 2011 Disney Princess Half Marathon. I had been gung-ho to run it again, and then my knee started giving me problems (and really I think it is my hip more than anything). The doubts started plaguing me – do I have it in me to do another? Do I want to put my body (especially my hips & knees) through that much stress again? And while I had an absolute blast, it was a time commitment.  But all of these thoughts really go by the wayside for several reasons - it is an excuse to visit Disney World, and I can wear a tiara!  Sold!  I will be signing up.

And one random thought for today – my 2010 World Cup boyfriends?  Wesley Sneijder and Manuel Neuer

Friday, July 02, 2010

Five Senses Friday

No training section this week, as I fell off the training wagon so to speak...

  • Pink hues in a lovely evening sky (and at 9:30!  I love Seattle in the summer)
  • Drip, drip, drop - where has summer gone?
  • Food!!  Real Food!!  Strawberries, pineapples, grapes, quinoa, avocado, and yesterday - chicken!
  • Tired
  • Tropical lotion

Summer Color Week: Blue

I'm a little blue summer color week over at Poppytalk is at and end.  But it was great fun while it lasted!