Monday, October 31, 2011

An Apology

Dear Body,

I owe you one hell of an apology. For the last six weeks I've stayed up too late, fed you a steady diet of junk food, alcohol and enough caffeine to make an elephant bounce off the walls, and slacked on exercise.  In short, I've treated you like crap.  I'm sorry. 

I'm offering you this humble apology and a promise to try to be better - starting today.  After the day I had, all I really wanted to do was order takeout and lay on the couch watching reruns or reading.  Instead, I laced up my running shoes for the first time in 3 weeks and took you out for 3 miles.  Considering what I've done to you, you performed pretty well (or at least I think you did - since my Garmin died half a mile into the run).  I'm pretty sure that you were pleased with the curried lentil soup and a bagel I fed you after the run too! 

And now, in keeping with my promise to treat you better, I'm going to read for a little while and then head off to bed in hopes of getting 8 solid hours of sleep.


P.S. We have a date with a yoga mat tomorrow night.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Gone Camping

The Husband and I love to go camping, especially in early spring and late fall (minimal crowds, no sweating to death in a tent, the campfire actually feels good).  We weren't able to get out in early spring due to my marathon training.  I may love to camp, but I do not love the idea of a long run after sleeping outside the night before!  We had planned a trip in mid-November, but that got derailed after our bunny sitter (aka My Mom) let us know that she would be out of town that weekend on a much needed and much deserved vacation of her own.  Between work, weddings, birthday parties and about 800 other obligations it looked like our only chance to go camping in 2011 was a 1 night trip this weekend (i.e. get there late afternoon on Saturday, bail out by noon-ish on Sunday). Thanks to The Husband (and my mom for watching the bunnies for an extra night), it turned into a two night trip! 

I got home from work on Friday night (around 5:00) to find the house pretty much cleaned/bunny-sitter ready and was told to start packing because we were leaving in an hour!  It was on!  I tossed some clothes in a backpack and we started packing up the car (yes, we cheat and go car camping).  By 6pm we were on the road.

We pulled into the campground and discovered that our favorite campsite was available.  We registered ourselves and then set about the business of pitching a tent in the glow of the car's headlights.  After that was done, we got a fire going and spent the remainder of the night relaxing around the fire.  When we finally headed for bed IT WAS FREEZING!  We've camped in cool weather before, but Friday night's low was in the high 20's-low 30's!  Fortunately, several layers of clothes, sleeping bags and a hat made it manageable.

On Saturday morning we drove into town to pick up supplies (food, beer, firewood) since we'd gotten in so late on Friday night.  The rest of the day was spent hanging out on our multi-level campsite (tent was on one level and the fire pit/eating area was on the lower level)...

...wandering down to the lake:

...and making a short foray onto the trail around the lake before realizing that the woods were full of hunters and we weren't wearing blaze orange:

After we got back to our site, we spent the remainder of the afternoon basking in the (relatively) warm sun and reading.
Before long, the light began to fade and the temperature began to drop.  The Husband set to work building our fire for the night...
...while I set to work making dinner (cheesesteaks) since I don't love cooking by lantern/firelight.  After dinner we sat around our fire, which we made larger as the temperature dropped.

By midnight, it was bed time.

This morning we tore down our camp in about 30 minutes and headed home.  The weekend away did wonders for my stress level and I'm ready to tackle the week ahead!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Party Girl

I love to have fun. I love staying out late, drinking too much wine and dancing like a fool with my friends (aka The Usual Suspects).  My little training 'hiatus' has allowed me to indulge these loves - perhaps a little too much.

Last Saturday, The Husband and I attended a wedding, which lead to to me engaging in all the party girl behaviors above.  The ceremony was lovely.  The reception rocked!  The reception was held at the Harley Davidson Museum and the couple thoughtfully provided their guests with museum tickets to keep them occupied in the hours between the end of the ceremony and the beginning of the cocktail hour.  Of course, we took full advantage of that!

The museum features a replica of the first Harley-Davidson ever made as well as examples of all their bikes through the years.

The museum also has a number of customized Harley's on display - most of which are beyond tacky (I love really simple bikes).
Bling Bike

Playboy Bike
My favorite part of the museum, by far, was the interactive room.  A number of bikes, both old (1930's-1980's) and new (2012) were on display and visitors were more than welcome to sit on them.

The Husband went for a classic bike.
I went for the 2012 Fat Boy
Wonder if I can talk him into one?
 All in all, if you're in the area, the Harley Museum was a blast.  If you're ever in the area, I highly recommend checking it out!
After we finished up at the museum, it was party time!  At that point, the pictures stopped being pictures and became evidence - and in our group there's a standing rule: If you weren't there, you don't get to see the pictures!  Let's just say that I drank a bottle and a half of wine, danced my ass off, and stayed out until 3am! The exhaustion and the hangover were worth it, but I really need to start behaving myself again soon!

Monday, October 10, 2011

I Survived Monday AND The Grocery Store

Obviously, I survived Monday at the office without being buried in an avalanche of paper.  How did I survive?  Mostly on this:
 And with a little help from my Tweeps. 

After driving my desk all day (and plowing through a monumental amount of paperwork), I stopped at the grocery store on the way home.  If you knew me in real life, you'd know that for me, going grocery shopping rates right up there with cleaning the toilet!  I don't mind trips to the local specialty market or the Whole Foods location downtown, but the regular old grocery store makes me nuts because a) Their produce sucks.  If you can find an unbruised, undamaged, non-rotting piece of produce, you can rest assured that it will be inedible within 48 hours.  b) For some reason, every temper-tantrum having child in a 30 mile radius seems to be there whenever I am! c) I can never find everything I'm looking for.  Half the time they're out of what I want.

That said, my choices tonight were grocery store or cereal for dinner...and we were out of milk anyway, so I braved it!

See, I told you my refrigerator looked pathetic before I went shopping!
Before Grocery Shopping

 The After picture doesn't look much better.
However, if you look closer, there's now actual food in my house.  It's just hiding in the drawers/door/freezer/cabinet!

Good God, that's a lot of yogurt!
No wisecracks. I'm from Wisconsin.  I like cheese...a lot!
There will be more produce when I get to the specialty market tomorrow.
Walter & Spot's drawer - filled with organic greens and carrots
 Yes, the rabbits have their own produce drawer.  Yes, they're spoiled.  No, they wouldn't have it any other way!
Note: Clif Bars and GU qualify as their own food group during racing season.
After my adventures in grocery land, I decided to borrow shamelessly steal a dinner idea from the fine folks over at

Ingredients for Semi-Homemade Tofu Pad Thai
While the end result tasted okay, the process of getting there was a little, um, frustrating.  First of all, do not believe the side of the box with regard to soaking the noodles (25-30 minutes in very hot tap water).  I soaked those things for half an hour and they were still hard as rocks.  Fine.  Nothing that 8 minutes of microwaving couldn't fix.  Next, I will never buy this brand of tofu again.  It started crumbling when I pulled it out of the package and started completely falling apart when I pressed it.  Anyway, once I got everything into the pan (along with a scrambled egg), I added the sauce that came with the noodles.  It was kind of bland, but it got better with the addition of some sweet chili sauce.  I would have taken a picture of the final product, but it wasn't very pretty to look at and the overhead light in my kitchen seems to be having a wiring issue, so it wouldn't have photographed well anyway.

For the remainder of the night (about 30 minutes before I crash into my bed), I'm going to try to make some more progress on the book I started reading on vacation and give the rabbits their nightly pile of greens.

What are you reading right now?

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Reality Bites

After spending the last week of September in a mountain paradise, the first week of October hit me like a ton of bricks.  Going back to work after a week of rest and relaxation is never fun, and October happens to be known as Hell Month in my office.  Sounds like fun, right?  I'm pretty sure I'm going to be spending the days between now and Halloween fueled by coffee and feeling something like this:

I fell far short of my goal of running a total of 15 miles this week.  I managed 6.65.  Yeah, not good, but still better than none!  I'm hoping that the coming week will be better on the running front.  On a positive note, The Husband and I did go for a 7-ish mile bike ride this afternoon and there was a frozen yogurt pit-stop involved!

Now it's off to bed before facing next week's onslaught!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Mountain Paradise - Day 3

 Day 1 (9 miles) and Day 2 (5 miles) left us a little worn out, so we decided to take it easy on our final day in the mountains.  After breakfast and the required game of fetch, we drove to Longmire, where I purchased a much needed hat since the part in my hair and my forehead were sunburned after Day 2's adventure!

After that, we headed across the Nisqually River suspension bridge in search of the Eagle Peak trail head.
Of course, I couldn't resist doing a little yoga!

The views from the bridge were gorgeous.

We quickly located the trail and began hiking.  We both knew we were not going to be doing the whole trail due to leg and time constraints, but it was fun to check it out and make plans to hike the whole thing (and the unmaintained trail past the saddle to the summit) the next time we're out here.

Expressing my love for all things Washington
After a little while, we turned back and drove up to Paradise for one more look at Rainier in all her glory.
 After a long last look, we climbed in our rental car and made our way back to the cabin for a relaxing afternoon of reading, soaking in the hot tub and of guessed it...fetch.

The next morning we packed up and headed back to Seattle for one more night before heading back to the real world. 

We're already planning to return in 2012.  And who knows, maybe someday we'll even decide to actually climb Mt. Rainier!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Mountain Paradise - Day 2

Day 2 in the mountains started off just like Day 1, with breakfast and a game of fetch.

We hopped in our rental car and headed back to Mt. Rainier. This time, we headed further up the mountain to Paradise (elevation 5400').  The last time we were here (April 2010), all of Paradise was buried under tons of snow, but this time it really lived up to it's name.
April 2010

September 2011
We began our hike by climbing the stone stairs and taking the Skyline Trail.

From there, the paved (at this point) trail continued at a gentle incline through a sub-alpine meadow bursting with flowers.

I even felt an overwhelming urge to strike a yoga pose along the way! (If you're a yogi, please excuse my less than stellar lunge.)
Warrior II
As we continued along, the already impressive volcano appeared to grow even larger and other peaks came into view on the horizon.
Mt. Rainier
Mt. Adams

Mt. St. Helens
Eventually, the Skyline Trail lead us to Glacier Vista (elevation 6336') and incredible views of some of the glaciers that cover Mt. Rainier.

Man & Mountain
After staring for a while, we continued upward and took a small detour part way up and back down the Pebble Creek trail before continuing on the Skyline Trail to Panorama Point.
All of the plants blooming while clinging to cracks in the rocks blew me away.

And inspired me to play with a few more yoga poses...'cause why not?!?!
Tree Pose (almost)

Warrior I
After I was done being silly, we continued on our way to Panorama Point:

Something furry and decidedly NOT vegetarian kept popping up over these rocks
And when we finally made it...Panorama Point did not disappoint.
 Three peaks (Mt. Adams, Mt. Hood & Mt. St. Helen's) were all visible at once...and it was stunning.
Mt. Adams

Mt. Hood (faintly in the distance)

Mt. St. Helen's
We were going to hike down immediately, but the nearest trail didn't look like such a good idea!

So after a quick consultation with our map, opted to take the High Skyline Trail and then take a short cut via The Golden Gate Trail.

As we hiked, we saw a bunch of marmots (who didn't seem to want to hold still long enough to be photographed) and some deer grazing in a meadow.  Eventually, we came to a side trail that seemed worth our while.

After Myrtle Falls, it was a few more minutes of hiking back to our car and the end of another fantastic day. 

We returned to the cabin ready for dinner and a nice, long soak in the hot tub, but this guy had other plans for us first...of course!
It's Impossible To Say No To This Face!