Saturday, October 29, 2011

Hello Treadmill

Well apparently I got a little post happy over the past few days, so if you missed it, here is a recap!

Postcards From Moi - I love postcards, how about you?  Especially postcards from Zagreb & Brussels!

I'm Really Getting Sick of Riding Rides With You - Recap from my trip to WDW where I attended Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party and ventured outside of Disney!!

Twelve By 2012 - Goals to complete before the clock strikes midnight on 12/31/11 (and is it just me, or does the world twelve look funny?)

What else has been going on?  Well, this morning I realized there was no way I was going to go out in the dark and cold to do seven miles so treadmill it was.  When is daylight savings again?  It has to be happening soon, right?  Have I mentioned before how I abhor the treadmill?  Well, I do.  Especially for anything over three miles and I here I am attempting seven!!  Treadmills definitely have their good points - being able to stop anytime and use the bathroom being primary on my list (plus the already mentioned avoiding darkness and cold - oh and keeping a consistent pace is another point in the treadmill's favor).  So work up this morning, headed to the gym and attempted to turn on the TV.  Nothing.  Blech!  I could have definitely used some TV to keep me entertained.  But I still had my iPod.  It seemed so much longer than it actually was but finally I was done.  Hip, hip, hooray!!

P.S.  Guess who signed up for the Seattle Rock 'n' Roll??  Oh yeah!  My first Rock 'n' Roll event!!  And if I do one, you know I'm going to have to do another one, because I will want that special medal.  Now which one to do??

Friday, October 28, 2011

Twelve by 2012


It is no secret that I love lists.  And even more than lists, I love crossing things off lists!  So when I saw Mandi's list of 12 by 2012 I knew I wanted in (via oh, hello friend).  There isn't much left of 2011, so let's see what I can do before the clock turns to 2012.  Plus this may be the motivation I have been looking for.  I don't know if it is the change in season or what but I have been feeling blah lately. 

Bold = Finished!   Italics = Working on it!   (Last updated: November 6, 2011)
  1. Close unused checking account.
  2. Try two new recipes.
  3. Hold a plank position for 1 minute.
  4. Ease back into running once 1 year has passed since I fell off a cliff (I think the best part about falling off a cliff is saying "I fell off a cliff!").
  5. Cancel my American Express card since I never use it.
  6. Attend yoga at least twice a week.
  7. Upload & send out pictures from recent trips.
  8. Catch up and finish reading my bible in one year plan.
  9. Decide if I'm wearing a costume for the Tinker Bell & Princess Half Marathons (and order them!).
  10. Make an appointment with the podiatrist.
  11. Find a green monster smoothie recipe I like.
  12. Take the stairs to work at least twice a week.

Five Senses Friday

  • The new show "Once Upon A Time" - I was intrigued and will keep watching (for now)

  • Someone's really icky smelling lunch 

  • Everything on a muted level - my ears are still somewhat plugged from this lovely cold I picked up 

  • Yummy food at Via Napoli at Epcot!! 

  • Rather run down - stupid cold! 

Thursday, October 27, 2011

I'm Really Getting Sick of Riding Rides with You

So while those words did come out of Jessica's mouth they originated with a kid in front of us while we were waiting for the Yeti (proper title being Expedition Everest, but much more of a mouthful than to simply call it the Yeti).  It cracked us up and so became our go-to phrase during the trip!  I think we're going to do a bullet point extravaganza to sum up the trip because that means it will actually get done!

  • On the Magical Express video, Huey, Dewey and Louie are on the screen and the little kid behind me goes "3 Donalds!"  And this is just another reason why Disney needs a Classic Disney channel to show all the old cartoons!!  That way Huey, Dewey and Louie are not mistaken for their uncle!
  • We had to work our way up to the Yeti with the trio of dinosaur rides - Dinosaur Dumbo (I don't know its real name), Primeval Whirl, and Dinosaur.
  • We were entertained (and reassured) while we were in line for the Yeti by 4 cousins (ages 7 to 12).  The one who said "I'm really getting sick of riding rides with you" was pulled out of line by mom and substituted with a girl cousin.  They were super cute and helped pass the time.  Although they did tell us that the Harry Potter ride was not a good ride.
  • I just discovered the fruit and cheese snacks at Animal Kingdom!!  Yum!
  • Jessica, errr Cruella, got reprimanded by most of the characters at Mickey's Not So Scary.  Poor puppies!  
  • I did get recognized as Minnie (I'm sure the ears helped!) and Minnie liked my outfit! :) 
  • I remembered the Headless Horseman being way cooler.
  • Ditto with Cinderella's carriage.
  • We did not do so well getting candy at the Halloween party - and it was not the good candy either (i.e. no chocolate).  I was fairly disappointed in my candy haul.
  • I felt a little like a traitor going to Universal but good things about Universal?  Starbucks, the super cool hand dryer machines, and BUTTERBEER!
  • I was nervous about going on Harry Potter for several reasons, one being would I be able to fit considering I'm on the bigger side?  I sat in the test chair outside the ride and was given the okay that I could sit in any chair I wanted.  Whew!
  • Harry Potter was a crazy ride!!  But fun!  And much better if you close your eyes in the room with the spiders.  
  • Of course the second time I got stuck in the room with the dementors.  Ick!
  • Butterbeer was DELICIOUS!  (A cross between cream soda and butterscotch.)
  • Loved Suess Landing!
  • Usually it's Toy Story over Rockin' Rollercoaster, but this time it was the other way around.  
  • Jessica IS the rebel spy!
  • Um, when did Lightning McQueen replace Herbie on Lights, Motors, Action?!
  • Watching Fantasmic while Illuminations is going on is a little distracting.
  • We brought our sweatshirts instead of buying new Mickey ones.  Which is probably the more fiscally responsible thing to do. 
  • Not having a park hopper option is somewhat liberating!  Instead of deciding what park to go to next when you are done, you just go home.
  • I love driving to Magic Kingdom (and Epcot) and looking at roads I've run on - and will again in February.  Ack!!  That isn't that far away!!
  • We had zero line magic at Epcot.  Which meant no Mexico and no Nemo.  Boo.  Guess that means another trip is in order! :)  Hey, how about February?
  • There is no gum sold in the Orlando Airport.  Seriously.  No gum sold in the entire airport.  Normally it wouldn't bother me, except I caught a cold and so really needed gum on the way home.  No such luck.  It was a fairly painful descent (although I've probably had worse, but this was the worst in recent memory).  And my ears are still plugged.  Ugh.

Postcards from Moi

I love postcards.  I'm not sure when my love affair began with postcards.  But getting a little slice from some exotic (or not so exotic) place captivates me.  I am always so excited when I receive a postcard in the mail.  I generally bring them to work and hang them up on the wall as my window on to the outside world.  My wall used to be completely covered but then we moved a couple of times and the postcards came down.  So each time we moved I started a new postcard wall.  Because I love postcards so much, I generally send out lots of postcards when I travel.

Anyone who has travelled with me knows how seriously I take my postcards.  It is a labor of love.  First there is finding the postcards.  I'm fairly picky, not just any postcard will do.  And I don't like to send a postcard unless I've been to or seen what is on the postcard.  And it has to be pretty (to me at least).  Or say what is on / in the postcard.  Next is finding a post office to buy stamps.  You wouldn't think this would be so difficult.  But it can be.  (I'm remembering a time walking through "Sherwood Forest" in Prague to get to the post office.)  Then there is the addressing and writing of the postcards.  I try not to write the same thing on each postcard.  They may have a similar theme, but I try to personalize each one a little or add one or two different thoughts.  There is a particularly incriminating photo somewhere that shows me asleep on a train in the middle of writing a postcard.  I'll see if I can find it.  And finally there is the mailing of the postcards.  A few times I have had to rely on the kindness of strangers when I've left the mailing too long and there hasn't been a mailbox at the airport.  (Each time I have given postcards to someone at the airport they have all arrived!)  Oh, and on my very first overseas trip (way back when to my favorite place in the whole world - LONDON) I gave my postcards to some little old lady I met on the street in York.  And those arrived safely too!

It is always interesting to see how long it takes for the postcards to arrive (if they do - postcards from Budapest took months and when they arrived they were in pretty bad shape and some of the postcards from my trip to Austria earlier this year never arrived).  And every once in awhile one postcard will arrive at a house and one will not and when one arrives for one sister but not for the other, that can be a problem!

Which brings me to the point of this post.  I thought I would share my love of postcards.  If you'd like to get a postcard from my upcoming trip to Croatia and Brussels, send me an email at travelwithemily (at) gmail (dot) com with your address by November 5th and I will send a postcard to the first ten people to respond (and hopefully the postcards will make it!).  Your address will only used for this purpose.  If you think it's weird and/or stalker-ish, then don't send me your address! :)

Asleep on a train from Venice to Florence

Friday, October 21, 2011

Autumn Colour Week: Brown

Hasn't this been fun?  But now Autumn Colour Week is at an end.  Hopefully you enjoyed it!!


And yes, the last picture isn't rotated correctly but I can't figure it out so it is just going to be wrong-side up.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Autumn Colour Week: Orange

Orange you glad it's Wednesday!?  Ha!  That joke never gets old!  Well, at least I haven't tired of it yet! :)  It's Autumn Colour Week over at Poppytalk!

The rest of the week looks like this:
Thursday - Grey
Friday - Brown

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Autumn Colour Week: Yellow

Oh Yellow Tuesday!  It is Autumn Colour Week over at Poppytalk

The rest of the week looks like this:
Wednesday, October 19th - Orange
Thursday, October 20th - Grey
Friday, October 21st - Brown

Monday, October 17, 2011

Autumn Colors Week: Red

Yay!!  It is time for another Color Week over at Poppy Talk!!  I do adore Colors Week!!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Five Senses Friday

It has been a rough week.  But it is almost over!  I'm so thankful for my massage tomorrow!!

  • A fantastic race at Kona!!  Huge congrats out to Crowie & Chrissie.  I had tears in my eyes as I watched Chrissie cross the finish line  And a huge congrats out to all those who raced at Kona.  Each time I watch it I think maybe...  But then I come back down to reality.  I do really want to attend Kona one of these years though to just be a part of the race.

  • The soundtrack to Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party (I leave next week!!!)

  •  Too many snacks!  Fruit snacks, fruit leather, goldfish, M&Ms...oh and my new fave - Peanut Butter Snickers!!

  •  A little anxious about my Halloween costume (I leave for WDW in less than a week and it hasn't arrived!!)

  •   Maple syrup

    Tuesday, October 11, 2011

    Rain, Rain Go Away

    Now normally I love a good fall storm, but today looking at the torrential downpour, I can only I wish I was someplace warm and tropical.

    Monday, October 10, 2011

    Am I an athlete?

    Now let me preface this with these are completely my own thoughts and feelings - so read with a grain of salt or pass on reading altogether.  If you are reading this then I actually hit post!  Which, truth be told, doesn't always happen with posts like this.  Many times they just sit, gathering dust, in the draft phase, never to see the light of day.   Poor little posts.

    I happened to catch a random observation about "real triathletes" and it caused me to pause.  Because labels are something that I have struggled with.  Am I a real athlete?  Am I a runner?  But the label I hadn't had a problem with before is that of triathlete.  Until this comment.  Now if the observation had  been about "serious triathletes" I would have had no issue and would have agreed completely and gone happily about my day.  I do think there are tiers and I am at the very bottom tier.  Or maybe even a tier below that!  Ha!  The one reserved for beginners.  And the one reserved for very slow beginners, who still don't quite know what they are doing.

    While I haven't had a problem calling myself a triathlete, I am always quick to caveat with sprint distance triathlons, I don't do long course.  I only do the baby version.  I also add how slow I am.  I know I am not a serious triathlete - I don't own a wetsuit, or bike shoes for that matter.  I don't have a coach.  My bike is a hybrid (not a road or racing bike), and I don't even know what the aero position is (okay, so that last one is a slight exaggeration).  But I love triathlons.  I love race morning.  I love the feeling of finishing the swim and getting out on the bike course (well when my bike & I are on speaking terms).  And even better I love T2 and getting out on the run course.  I never questioned that I was a triathlete.  Once I completed my first triathlon, I was a triathlete.  Not a serious triathlete, but a triathlete all the same.  I know because Sally Edwards told me I was.  In the water, preparing for my very first swim, Sally Edwards asked us what kind of triathlete we would be when we crossed the finish line.  And my group were going to be wonderful triathletes!  I crossed that finish line and I was a triathlete.  I never questioned it - until now.

    But what makes a person an athlete?  A triathlete?  A runner?  Especially someone like myself - I mean I have to look at each race to see if there is a time limit that I can finish in before I even sign up.  And right now I have to make sure they allow walkers.  I have not been under any illusion that I will finish anywhere near the front of the pack.  But does that mean I am not an athlete?  Or maybe aspiring athlete would be a better term.

    I agree there are different levels of athlete.  And on any other given day I might have just passed this off but something about it struck deep in me.  Maybe because I have been feeling insecure with my knee injury.  (Or maybe I'm just REALLY tired and completely overreacting.)  But there is a small part of me that thinks I'm just a pretender - I am dressed like a runner, but really I am a walker.  Maybe because I have a hard time thinking of myself as a runner.  If someone were to call me a runner, I am usually quick to jump in with no, I do run but I am not a runner.  Runners do hill repeats, know what fartleks are, and do speed work.

    All these thoughts basically boil down to one question.  What makes a person deserving of the title "athlete"?  Professionals?  Fast and speedy participants?  People who take their sport seriously?  Or do you just need to finish a race to be called a runner, a marathoner, a triathlete?  Or is it somewhere in between? 

    When did you feel you had earned the title of athlete?

    Friday, October 07, 2011

    Five Senses Friday

    • The rain pelting against my window - oh rain, how I have missed you, but yet, how I have not missed you!! 

    • Goldfish & M&Ms - there is something to be said about that salty/sweet combo 

    •   Lots of shoes - but not the pair I am looking for

    • Peppermint tea 

    •   Tired

    Want more Five Senses?  Check out Mandi's!

    Wednesday, October 05, 2011

    What's Next?

    I am a planner at heart.  I like plans.  I like schedules.  I like to put things on a calendar (so I can later cross them off!).  And while January and February seem like a long way off, throw in a couple of holidays, a vacation or two, and pretty hectic work schedule for at least a couple of weeks and all of a sudden it is time to plan out my training schedule for the Tinker Bell and Princess Halves.  (Or would it be more proper to say Half Marathons instead of trying to pluralize half?)

    My loose training schedule looks a lot like this:

    Monday - hot yoga
    Tuesday - walk/run 2 to 4 miles
    Wednesday - hot yoga/Pure Barre/weights/something else?
    Thursday - walk/run 2 to 4 miles
    Friday - rest
    Saturday - hot yoga
    Sunday - long walk/run

    I can pretty much guarantee I won't follow this to a tee (look at me - I rhymed!) but I will try to stick close to the schedule and definitely hit the long walk/run.  Notice I threw run in there?  That's right!  I am almost back to running!!  Only 2 more months!

    I have a feeling the trick will be to keep up my motivation between Tinker Bell and Princess.  Any tips out there on staying motivated?  And not letting the high of finishing a race turn into a low?

    In the meantime, I need a November race and a December race.  December is easy-peasy.  I'm so doing the 12Ks of Christmas - it is easily one of my favorite races of all times.  November isn't as easy.  I'm out of town for most of the Turkey Trots.  But I think I'm going to do the Seattle Marathon 5K.

    And off we go! 

    Saturday, October 01, 2011

    Project Athena 10K

    I would like to start this off by saying I was No. 1 in this race!!  Okay so I'm talking about my bib number, not my actual placement in the race.  But I did get a lot of cheers for No. 1 from other participants and people on the trail which made me smile! :)

    This was the race that almost wasn't.  I fell off the bandwagon after the YGG Half and just wasn't motivated.  I had the finishing the race high followed by a low.  Plus there was that little side trip to Disneyland that distracted me.  But what better to get me back on the wagon than a race?

    I was a little nervous going into the race as I knew it was a small race and the 10K was technically only for "runners".  But as the course was mainly on "my" normal route I figured if it was too bad and I was way far behind, I could hide my race number and just pretend to be out for a normal walk.

    The 10K racers started and sure enough I was last within no time at all.  Well this is going to be fun.  Will this be the day I am last?  It isn't so much that I care about being last - it is more about people waiting for me to finish.  There were 2 women just ahead of me who were alternating run/walking and was able to catch up and pass them on their walk interval.  They would pass me back and so we leapfrogged for a little while but I kept gaining a little more and finally was able to increase the distance enough.  Okay, so I won't be last if I can keep this up!  I played the same game with 2 other women.  So now there was at least 4 people behind me.  Whew!  A little breathing room.

    The goal behind Project Athena is to help survivors live their adventures.  The survivors were given orange shirts to wear.  I was now behind a group of 4 women, 3 of whom were survivors.  Of course they were my next targets! :)  But being behind them I was able to see racers coming back giving them support.  Even the super fast men gave them high fives or shout outs.  It was really neat to see nearly every participant giving support to these survivors.  When I finally caught up with them I added my own cheer and they cheered me on as well.  We leapfrogged a couple of times but when we hit the turn-around I was able to pull ahead.

    Wow, we're at the turn-around already?  The problem with being on my familiar route - as I passed by my normal parking lot I was ready to step off the trail and get in my car!  Haha!  Not quite yet - I still had a a good 2 miles to go.

    I caught up with another woman and walked along side her for awhile.  It was her first race of any sort and she was just hoping to finish.  I told her she was doing great and she was going to finish!  I walked with her for awhile until I saw the finish line and the clock which was ticking towards 1 hour and 30 minutes.   At the beginning I was hoping to finish within 1 hour and 35 minutes but somewhere along the course I was starting to think that 1 hour and 30 minutes was possible.  And when I saw the clock at  1:28 I took off.  I was tempted to run but kept up the walk and finished in 1:29 and some seconds.  I don't remember the exact seconds and I can't tell you because the results aren't up yet.  Grr!  Where are my results?  Ha!  Apparently I am impatient today.

    And there you have it!  My October race is done.