Friday, July 20, 2012

The Last Supper (Cali Style)

Today is my last day in California.

But rather than be sad about it I wanted to have a great last day!
Last night we saw The Dark Knight Rises at midnight after the gym (30 min run, 20 min bike, 10 min weights in case you were wondering) and IHOP (whole wheat pancakes w/ bananas in case you were wondering).  Even with coffee I was struggling through the movie but it was pretty exciting and awesome so I managed to stay awake.  Of all the movies I have seen this summer though, 21 Jump Street is still my favorite, probably because of this:

Well not so much this moment but more like Channing Tatum in general.

This morning we were supposed to go windsurfing at 11 but found out the place didn't open until 1 - which was fine because both me and Alex were super tired from being up until 3 last night!
It turned out to be pretty breezy and it was great sailing.  Alex and I both got to practice everything we learned from last weekend and got a chance to actually go fast since there was some wind.  We both also figured out how to gybe!  I wished I had managed some pictures of us actually windsurfing but there was no way I was risking my phone near the water so instead I just took some pictures of the beach so you can get an idea of how awesome and absolutely perfect the weather was today.

Wind around 10-15 mph... sunny... 75 degrees... warm water... need I say more??

These sails may look small but before you know it we'll be moving up in the world and doing tricks like these guys...

After windsurfing I was super hungry since I ate breakfast at like 10 and it was now 3PM and I need constant feeding.  Because of this I was slightly really hangry (hungry + angry) and may have been a little grumpy towards Alex.  

He is pretty much the nicest guy ever though so he accepted my apologies and once I ate my peanut butter sandwich my manners returned to those of a normal person.  Also I know this picture is everywhere but that's because it's just so accurate, I couldn't help it.

The other Academy people were going rock climbing so I went with them.  I was pretty tired from windsurfing but I got my second wind climbing and had a blast!  It's such a great workout.  Even on a short climb, if it's tough I get to the top and realize that I'm dripping sweat.  Eww.  But also cool because I didn't even realize how hard I was working because I was having too much fun!  There's a rock wall at school, but that gym was closed for renovations all year.  Now it's done though - maybe if I have time I'll go over there sometime?  Well, let's be real, once it's the school year I'm so busy that I'm always running around like a chicken with its head cut off, so that probably won't happen, but a girl can dream.

One rant though.  So before we could climb we had to get checked by one of the employees to make sure we were OK to belay each other.  One of the guys, while we were working on belaying and getting tips from one of the gym employees, kept flirting with her the whole time, was never pulling out the slack in my line, kept messing up, and was just in general wasting everyone's time AND seriously endangering the person on the wall.  Seriously can you just get over yourself and focus on something OTHER than flirting with anything that is female?  I paid $18 to climb and you are wasting my money and everyone's time and it's gross how you think any girl thinks your sleazy tactics are in ANY way attractive.  End rant.

Now for reasons mentioned above I don't always get along with the other guys here besides Alex for various reasons, but today I can absolve all of their faults because they took me to In-N-Out after climbing.  What better last supper for my last night in Cali other than a perfect burger and shake?  

I made the mistake of drinking most of my shake on the car ride back to my room so I could hardly finish my burger and never finished the shake... yet an hour later I was able to stuff my face with blueberries?  Sometimes I just don't understand.

My plan for tomorrow is to get up really early and run as my last hoorah in Cali and then leave for my flight to Baltimore.  Sigh.  It's been an interesting four weeks to say the least and I'm not too happy to go back to the east coast, but at least I'll get to see some friends from school and maybe even go sailing on Sunday!

I hope everyone is having a great weekend!

Got any fun weekend plans?

Have you ever been rock climbing?

Thursday, July 19, 2012

I eat real food I promise!

OK so I built a bridge and got over the stuff that was bringing me down when I posted last time so get ready for something a little more positive!

Yesterday was cupcake happy hour day again so I got these bad boys.

One is grasshopper (devils food cupcake with mint frosting and andes mints on top) and the other is maple bacon.  For real.  Even the cake part had real bacon bits in it!  I split it up between me and my office buddies and we thought it was pretty good, but none of us were really in love with it.  Let's just say, it wasn't bad, but if I could only buy one cupcake, this one would not be it.

I didn't take a picture, but I also got a lemon blueberry one and I ate it in the car on the way back from the bakery because it was THAT good!!  I'm not sure how I'm going to survive without cupcake happy hour once I'm back on the east coast...

At the gym I busted out 20 minutes of weights:
10x front, side, back lunges
50x weighted incline sit-ups
3x10 lateral side raises and lateral front raises w/ 10 lbs
3x12 w/ 30 lb barbell: squats, single leg calf raises (each leg), over head press, and bicep curl
Followed by 15 minutes of moderate spinning, and a 20 min progressive run on the treadmill.  I'll take it!

Today was my last day at my internship.  I feel like I just got here and I'm not ready to leave at all!  There's so much more I want to do in the Bay Area and northern CA in general, now I HAVE to come back!  I still need to see:

  • Monterey/Carmel
  • Santa Cruz
  • Lake Tahoe
  • Napa
  • Golden Gate Park/Point Reyes
  • Yosemite
  • Redwoods/Sequoia
  • Muir Woods
I am already planning what I might want to do next summer, and if I don't end up here, I'm looking ahead to when I graduate and can go to Navy Postgrad School in Monterey... oh man, that would be the life!

Ahhhh... if only this were my view every morning...

After my last day at work (cry) we stopped at the farmers market and Trader Joe's so I could buy some snacks for my last day here and for my day of travelling back to the east coast on Saturday.  This picture is actually from last week and I didn't buy this many berries but this is essentially what I come back with when you let me loose in a farmer's market!  Oh and nectarines too, but they didn't make it into the picture.

Later tonight I'll go to the gym, run until I don't feel like it anymore and do some abs/strength training, and then we're going to IHOP and then seeing Dark Knight Rising!  I don't really know what this Batman is all about but hopefully it's as good as the last one.

Tomorrow we're going windsurfing again and this time I WILL take pictures!

Oh and after the gym on Monday we went to a local 24 hour donut joint.  'Dis my shit.

I just want you guys to know that while my diet does incorporate large amounts of baked goods I DO eat healthy things too most of the time, I promise!  But hey we gotta #eatdirty too sometimes.

Happy almost-weekend everyone!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

DOMS & thoughts

***DISCLAIMER - the post you are about to read was fueled by a toxic combination of  personal issues and post-workout endorphins... just so you're warned...

OK so since I've been really sore I've been thinking a lot about DOMS.  Delayed onset muscle soreness.  The aching feeling that lets us know we broke our bodies down, but that they're going to rebuild stronger than ever.  That feeling of accomplishment that reminds us, every time we sit down and stand up, that we're getting better.  The feeling that reminds me that my sorry butt needs to do lunges and squats more often in order to avoid this in the future.  The reminder that while now we are "out of shape," at least we're "getting somewhere."

As I lay in my bed typing this and nursing my tender quads and hammies and glutes I can't help but think how feeling this kind of satisfying pain time and time again has made me feel not uncomfortable, but at peace - because I know that as crappy as my legs feel now, the disappointment and pain from everything else hurts a little bit less, (as my mom says, you can only feel so many things at once) and because I know that while I may not be getting anywhere in any other aspect of my life, at least I'm getting a little bit stronger in some respect.

Not everything we do gives us this kind of satisfaction.  In what other endeavor can we be so sure that we're improving?  What other activities offer such concrete evidence of progress?  With learning; with relationships; with recovering from bad habits, it's not so tangible. 

Running is simple.  
Push too hard or dive in too fast, forget to be smart about it, and end up on your face.  Take it easy and slow, take the time to build up consistently, make changes where necessary, take days off when needed and take some chances when there's more to gain than lose, and it will reward you like nothing else.  
Running gives back what you put in. 

Running has never failed to bring me consistently more joy than pain, though I would probably not admit to this during the last few minutes of a tough tempo run.

Running lets me think about everything, or about nothing at all.
I can let my mind wander to figure things out, fix things, or try to make things better.  Or I can let go, and let the sound of my feet on the pavement be the only thing to fill my head.

Running is there for me.  
It was there for me when middle school drama made we want to roll my eyes and just get away.  It was there for me in high school when a bunch of family members went and kicked the can all around the same time.  It was there for me when I wasn't able to spend time with one of my first loves, lacrosse.  It was there for me for every up and down during my first year away from home, and during my second too.  And now, it's there for me even as I'm losing something else.

Woah, woah, back it up, so how did I get from DOMS to running as a replacement for therapy?  Well I think my questionably-delusional thought process went something along the lines of, the pain in my muscles won't get better by lying in bed, it'll get better by staying active and keeping everything moving and not getting stiff.  Translate into a life lesson: when we're hurt, we don't get better by wallowing in self pity. We get better by figuring out ways to cope, either fixing things or learning to accept them, and moving on.

Regardless.  What better outlet is there than running for anger, frustration, sadness, confusion, anxiety, guilt, jealousy, or just plain feeling like crap?  Until there is something really spectacular out there to help me make it through everything life throws at me, whether it's achy legs or an achy.... heart (ok there I said it, now I feel super sappy but I can't go back now).... I'm going to keep running.   

Because whoever said nothing is better than a good cry obviously never went on a good run.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Bread gators, windsurfing, trail running, and YOLO

First things first, workout update:

Friday - both me and Alex (other Academy student here for internship) were totally dead but we went to the gym anyway.  I thought about just going to the gym and lying on the mats and doing sun salutations (aka napping) but I nutted up and did some spin intervals instead.  It made me feel much more energized and I'm glad I did!
Saturday - quick 30 minute run and then my weekend started...

I went to my first ever windsurfing lesson!  I've been sailing and teaching sailing for years, and my brother and I tried to teach ourselves how to windsurf because we thought it would be pretty similar - wrong.  We sucked at it.  But with a good lesson, I got up and sailing on my very first try and only fell once!  Moral of the story is don't try and think you can teach yourself to windsurf.  You can't.  The whole process is counter intuitive even for a lifelong sailor like me, but with a lesson, it was really pretty easy and a ton of fun!  I wish I had taken pictures buttttt on the other hand I probably looked pretty ridiculous so maybe not.

What I think I look like:

What I actually look like:

After this it was only 1:30 so we went to a local shopping center on the windsurfing instructor's recommendation that had awesome food trucks.  I got a pork quesadilla (didn't take pictures because eating is way more important) and Alex had a burrito that he ate in less than a minute.  Or at least really fast.  At least I snapped a picture of the truck - they were all so pretty!

We sat through an hour of hideous traffic but in the end we did get to downtown San Francisco!  We wandered from Ghirardelli Square down to Pier 35 back, and along the way stopped in Fisherman's Wharf and Pier 39.  Basically we went to all the touristy places.  Normally I try not to be touristy but it was my last chance to go into the city and I have no shame.  YOLO (more on that later).

Of course we had to go to Boudin bakery to get some sourdough. Girl's gotta get her carbs somehow amiright?  They had such cute bread shapes and even had bread in baskets going around the ceiling!

When I am rich and famous I'm installing a bread conveyor belt in my house just like this one so I can have bread delivered to me whenever I want.

We also went to an awesome chocolate store (NOT Ghirardelli, pretty much all they had was just stuff I could buy in the grocery store... no thanks) and I got a hunk of fantastic dark chocolate.  Our number one impulse purchase was mini donuts but OH MY GOD were they worth it!  They were made right in front of us and covered in cinnamon sugar and I just about died and went to heaven when I tried one!  No picture because they were devoured in about 25.6 seconds... not that we timed it or anything...

Our second-to-last stop was Lombard St. - only we walked up the wrong side of it and ended up at the top of the windy part instead of the bottom.  I think walking up this hill can count as my workout for, like, the month.  The hill was RIDICULOUSLY steep.  Like probably vertical.  OK I am exaggerating, but if you can walk all the way to the top and your legs don't feel like they're about to explode then you're my hero.

Ok so I did tilt my phone a little bit to exaggerate the angle but not really... it was steep.

I would love to live on this street!  Naaaaahhhhttt although the houses were gorgeous.

Only in San Francisco...

We took the long way back to the valley and went over the Golden Gate and the Richmond bridge.  There was a big fog over the peninsula so everything looked really eerie.

I made Alex stop for this... yeeeeah buddy!

When we got back to the hotel I immediately got to work laid on my bed and ate sourdough bread dipped in peanut butter while watching probably the worst Will Farrell movie I've ever seen and then PTFO.

SUNDAY I woke up early-ish to eat some breakfast of (you guessed it) bread dipped in peanut butter and some berries before driving to my hiking destination.  I did sort of a hike/trail run combo where I walked up the steep uphills and tried to run the flats and downhills - which was about 55:00 according to my watch..  It ended up being about 9 miles total, took me a little over 2 hours, and had about 1500 ft of elevation gain.  The views were spectacular and I got super dusty and dirty and it was overall just an awesome time!

Not my picture but this is the park I was at - gorgeous!

Later Alex wants to go to the gym so I'll probably go and do arms and abs or something. Until then I'll be alternating between crying because I have to leave Cali on Saturday or doing my laundry... one or the other.

Did you do anything exciting this weekend?

Do you like trail running or road running better?
I definitely like trail running better because I get to be surrounded by nature!  And because it's not as monotonous.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Flexin' on dem haters

OK so today and yesterday's workout recaps:

Yesterday - 30 minutes of punishing my arms and abs with weights, then 30 minutes on the spin bike.  I was going to run but was kind of nauseous and not really feeling it.  Probably shouldn't have eaten cupcakes so close to working out... see below.  I'm surprised that with how dead I felt while lifting that I'm not sore today!  By the end my arms were like jello and my abs were goo.

goin' hard in the... bathroom?

Today - 30 minute treadmill run, increasing speed .2 mph every 5 minutes; 60 min spin class w/ push ups and abs at the end.  I was the only person there... so she made the class harder :)  by the time we finished push ups I kind of wanted to cry.  But I didn't because that would be weaksauce.

And now for what you really want to see...

This place near the lab I'm working at has cupcake happy hour every Wednesday from 3-5pm so I left to pick some up.  I couldn't decide on what flavors to get so I just got every one that looked good.  From top - orange dreamsicle, carrot cake, peanut butter chocolate, triple chocolate, and red velvet.  Drool.  So far I've tried all of them and my favorite is the triple chocolate.  The orange one was WAY too sweet unfortunately, and the red velvet one was for a friend, otherwise I'm sure that would have been my favorite!

If they look a little melty, it's because they are - it was 108 when I picked them up!  Today it was only like 95 though and it's supposed to be back to the 80's and then the 70's by next week - good for me, because I can enjoy some great Cali running weather before heading back to the east coast next weekend and having to deal with sticky summer nastiness.  Blechhhh.

 But girl cannot live on cupcakes alone (well she could, but I would probably end up in a permanent sugar coma) so I've been tryingeating pretty clean on the side.  I went to the farmers market today to stock up on my beloved berries and nectarines so I can continue having awesome breakfasts like this one:

No picture but for lunch today I had an awesome sandwich on german wheat (from the farmer's market) with avocado, pepper jack, green peppers, lettuce, and red onions.  Soooo tasty that I'm making another one tomorrow, and I'll make sure to take a picture!

So I mentioned above that I'm headed back to the east coast after next week.  The way my summer works is that it's all separated out into blocks, with usually one block for "leave," or vacation, and two "training" blocks.  I had leave first, the internship I'm doing now counts as my professional training, and my next summer training block counts as my military training.  I was slated to spend my military training on a submarine (which was really exciting to me because I am hoping to become a submarine officer), but I found out this week that I got changed to a surface ship, and that I'll be on the east coast.  I won't say where or on what ship, but let's just say it's not the best place to be in August.  Yeah, it's disappointing, but I guess this is good for preparing me for the future, where I may have very little choice of where (or when) I'll be transferred or stationed.  The bright side is that some of my Academy friends will be on the ship too, and I'll be really close to the beach!  

Favorite cupcake flavor? 

Hottest weather you've ever experienced?

I think the 108 yesterday is the hottest I've ever been in - but it was dry, so it didn't match the 115 heat index we had last summer.  

Happy almost-weekend everyone!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Dreadmill progress and 7 minutes in heaven... with a burger

We all have those mornings.  The ones where we just DON'T want to get up.
Well I had one of those again, but instead of ditching my run, I went to the gym at work and got in 40 minutes on the treadmill.

Just like Kate and probably others out there, I HATE treadmills.  But I knew if I didn't run then I wasn't going to get one in today so I sucked it up and was a (wo)man about it.  I'm glad I did because I did 40 minutes increasing the pace the whole time and didn't stop at all which is huge considering that's the longest I've run without stopping since probably finals week!  I can't say enough how much getting back into shape sucks, but my run today reminded me that if I keep working hard I will make progress every day and will be back to normal in no time.

A few hours later a group of us from work headed to In N' Out to watch two guys have an eating contest - 2 4x4's (4 patties, 4 slices of cheese), fries, and a shake:

The guy who won (not the guy I took a picture of holding the food) won in 8:37 and had been eating donut holes all morning.... the poor other guy had been fasting since yesterday at lunch.

The aftermath...

While NOT watching them eat (so I could fully enjoy my lunch) I had my first In N' Out experience and people, it was good.  The burger was great - lots of lettuce, tomato, and grilled onion; the special sauce was awesome, and the bun was pretty much perfect.  The fries were about average - Five Guys' cajun fries are way better in my book.  The shake was also awesome and so thick I could hardly drink it with a straw!  I only ate less than half of the fries and maybe a little more than half of the shake after the burger so I have no idea how the boys ate 8 times as much burger as me AND ate the fries AND the shake.... It's impressive.

This induced a food coma that lasted until approximately 4PM

Since I liked spin so much on Monday I went again yesterday, only this time it was a lot harder.  A different guy was teaching and his class was longer and he was really pushing us - but I liked it.  Then it hit me why I was so proud of my run this morning: not because it was good, but because even though I really wanted to quit, I not only kept going but kept ramping up the speed.  I'm the type of person who will do anything a trainer or coach asks when it comes to a workout, especially if I'm in a group, and even if I'm sore and shaking and about to pass out or maybe die.  That's just what motivates me.  The fact that I was able to push myself by myself, on a treadmill no less, and when I'm not even in good shape and running isn't even all that fun, is a success in my book, and gives me a way to look at my (comparatively) slow run from a positive angle :)

practicing my "ohmygodi'mgoingtotheolympicsohmygod" face... haha
I think Galen has me beat though.

Do you push yourself harder when you're on your own, in a group environment, or when you have a trainer or training partner pushing you?

Monday, July 9, 2012

An apple pie that read my mind

Last night I went out to dinner with the new guy from the Academy who just got here for his internship.  I know I said I wanted to go somewhere that I hadn't gone before but I think he secretly knew I wanted Greek food.  Maybe because I gushed about how good the Greek restaurant downtown is... but whatever, I have no shame and I really wanted to try their steak sandwich!  It was perfect and really hit the spot after my run.  I didn't take a picture though because I don't really know this guy very well yet and whipping out my camera to photograph every meal might weird him out, ya know?

After dinner we had to go to Safeway so he could pick up groceries so while he was doing that I wandered around and took pictures of these adorable mini cakes:

I can't decide which one is my favorite because I love them all, especially the toy story ones, but since I like chocolate so much better than any other cake flavor I would pick the flower one.

My friend told me that back home they have strawberry cherries at Costco.  I have NO idea what these could possibly taste like since I can't imagine cherry and strawberry together for some reason - has anyone tried these and can you describe them to me??

I just loved this pie box because it says "We know you want the pie..."  How did they know that??!  I didn't get it though because if I bought an apple pie I would probably just eat it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner until it was gone and even for me, that's just too much pie.

Fast forward to this morning where I slept in past my alarm and did not go running.  I think I'm making up for  almost a year of sleep deprivation because lately I've been needing at least 8 hours of sleep before I can drag myself out of bed.  So instead of running, I did some weights and went to my first spin class ever!  It was fun, but I'm still not a huge fan of biking. At least with spin I'm suffering with other people, and there's music, and there's someone telling me to do intervals.  Tomorrow's plan is a morning run and spin again in the evening.

Dinner was the biggest piece of pizza I've ever seen!  Seriously, the west coast does pizza differently - bigger slices, WAY thicker crust, and not as much cheese - pretty much the perfect pizza if you ask me, although New York style will always have a special place in my heart.  Once again I didn't take a picture because I don't want this kid to think I'm tooo strange.  However he did agree that we need to get donuts at some point so at least we're on the same wavelength there!

Time to get my laundry and go to bed so I can actually wake up to run - Happy Monday!