Tuesday, June 24, 2008

A test of balance

It was pretty much an insane weekend.

So beginning with Friday evening, when I got home from San Francisco, John and I had concert tickets. I wasn't really down with going...but it was important to him, so I did.

BUT! I had to be headed home and in bed right after the show. On Saturday morning, I was a volunteer running buddy with Girls on the Run, and we were doing the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure 5K. My buddy needed me to be ON - show up on time, and ready to run.

I'm happy to say all was good - I was in bed by around 2:30, up at 6 to be ready to leave by 7, get there by 7:30.

The thing that made it all more complicated, though, was that I also wanted to attend my friend Brian's bar mitzvah...at 10:30 a.m. Since the race was at 8:30, that didn't leave enough time to race, watch the other girls finish, say goodbye to my running buddy, get home, shower, dress, and get back into Seattle to the synagogue.

So, guess what I didn't do! Yup, shower!

The race was really fun - my buddy had had a cold, and I could tell she was suffering a bit. But she wouldn't walk a step - she wanted to get it done running, and she did. She even "emptied the gas tank" at the end and sprinted to the finish line. By my watch, we did it in about 35 minutes - not bad for a 10-year-old! She was the first girl from Redmond to finish and the third overall from the program.

I had John pick me up at 10 nearby - he and the kids were already ready. I changed my clothes in the car (putting on a dress in a car is HARD), pinned up my hair, and slapped on a little makeup. And off to the bar mitzvah we went.

Saturday afternoon was uneventful; we just hung out at home. But Saturday night we again had plans to go out.

And Sunday I had a 10-mile run planned.

I set a rule before we went out: no matter what time we left the club, I was going to be in bed by 2:30 a.m. No exceptions.

Our friends left around 1:15 to go back to one of their houses. I was actually happy about that, because that house is really close to mine so I knew I could hang for an hour or so before heading home.

At 2:20 a.m., I stood up and said, "Okay, time for me to go!"

My friend said, "FAIL! You can't leave yet!"

And by then, I didn't want to. People were still coming in to chill out after a fun night of dancing and great music - but I had two goals: re-discover the athlete I seemed to have lost a few months ago, and still enjoy my friends and going out. And it's just not possible to do both at the exact same time.

So 2:30 was my turn-back-into-a-pumpkin time; I apologized and took off.

After driving the three minutes home, getting undressed, getting my makeup off, and brushing my teeth, I looked at the clock. 2:33.

But the clock is a few minutes fast...so I figure I made my goal.

I woke up at 7:50, 10 minutes before my alarm. Plenty of time to drink some coffee and prepare for the run.

The girls arrived at my house at 8:45, we were on the trail at 9:15 or so. And the 10 miles? Not so bad. I could definitely feel myself fading a bit after five miles; a GU perked me up a bit, then gave me a tummyache (so much for the Iron Stomach I built last year). But I finished the 10 relatively happy with my performance - I mean, I'm not breaking any land-speed records, but I'm moving - and the pace was a decent 10:35 average per mile. Just fine for an early long run on the way to a 4-hour marathon! Oh yeah I'm going to run Portland. I should sign up right now to commit myself!

So then we had brunch and in the afternoon, I went hiking with a couple of other families and our kids. Four miles round trip, not super-steep, but it took 50 minutes to get to the top. Then Gabriel, one of the girls from another family and I pretty much ran down.

That was super-fun - and I felt great that I could go run 10, then hike and feel pretty good about that.

So that's what the weekend was: a test of balance. I hung with the kids, I volunteered, I exercised, and I stayed up pretty late to hang with friends. And all in a weekend between two pretty busy weeks at work.

Some days I really do feel like I can do it all: be a great wife, mother, employee and athlete. I just wish those some days were every day...

Friday, June 20, 2008

Gotta love a business trip...

where you come and go in the same day.

I'm in San Francisco right now. Specifically, the airport. I've actually spent more time in the airports today...and I will have spent 6 more time on the airplane, too, once I get home, than I did in the meeting I had.

Wake up 4:30 a.m.
Wake the entire family so they can bring me to the airport (because we only have one car right now that fits everyone and John won't let me drive his NSX...or leave it at the airport for a day).
Get on plane at 6:30. Suffer with Starbucks coffee instead of the good stuff.
Confuse cab driver on the way to my meeting.
Arrive at the SF office in time to walk to good coffee with one of the people I was meeting with. Yay, one good thing.
Have a productive meeting for 3 hours or so.
Go back to airport.
Fail to get on standby for an earlier flight home....so wait in the airport for three and a half hours.
That's where I am.

Looks like the flight on which I'm confirmed, though, is on time...can't wait to sit in my middle seat!

Anyway, at least everywhere I go there's internet access. And I'm sure I'll have a nice dinner with the family when I get home.

Then John and I are going to go see Above & Beyond tonight; hopefully that will be a good time.

Tomorrow I'm running the Komen 5K with Girls on the Run. I'm a running buddy to a great girl who actually can run a decent 5K - 30 minutes or so! So I'm very excited about that.

Just need to get out of this airport!!!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Dieselboy made me a drum and bass fan

Last July, John and I were at a club, totally dancing and enjoying the music. Suddenly, he says, "Let's get out of here!" and pulls me toward the door. It was so abrupt that I was like, what is going on? Are we being threatened?

But no. John could hear a drum & bass song being mixed in, and knew that the tone of the music was about to change. He so dislikes drum & bass that he didn't want even one song to mess up his great night - so it was time to go.

So I guess I thought drum & bass was to be avoided at all costs.

But sometime this spring, my friend Ryan brought over a CD and played me a song - Kiss Kiss Bang Bang by High Contrast. I was hooked on the song - and really the rest of that album - immediately.

I started asking friends for recommendations for more drum & bass, and I found Dieselboy.

The sound is much harder, but there's something in it that pulls me in. I thought it would make me angry with that 180 beats per minute or whatever, but it doesn't - I actually can focus really well at work while listening to drum & bass. And while there is something that ties the genre together, it's much more complex than I think John believes.

So Friday night there was a show called "Monsters of Jungle" (jungle and drum & bass are either the same sub-genre of electronica or similar, depending on who you ask) here in Seattle, and I wanted to go really bad. And John wanted to stay home really bad.

We agreed that I'd go without him. He warned me I'd probably be shot at or knifed; apparently dangerous types go to drum & bass shows.


So first off, the show wasn't in a club - it's just a space where there are lots of shows, all different types of music. So everyone who was there was there for the music.

I have never felt so comfortable so quickly in a place I'd never been. The vibe was great - people were chill, either sitting down up in the balcony or dancing on the floor below. Nobody was obviously drunk and obnoxious. Nobody looked me up and down to check me out. Sa-weet.

We arrived right when Evol Intent was taking the stage. The music was great; you couldn't help but dance. But I was also fascinated by the MC. He talks and rhymes along to the music, and my friends who are in the know said that typically it really is just off the top of his head, playing off the crowd and the energy. It was cool.

When Dieselboy went on, though, oh my goodness. I couldn't help but run down the stairs to the dance floor. My friends followed. It was like a million degrees down there, but we couldn't stop moving. We took a break 30 minutes in so some people could go outside and smoke and cool off, but then we were back in the thick of it for another 45 minutes. Oh, and at some point, he played a drum and bass version of the Nine Inch Nails song "The Hand that Feeds" - which is like my favorite song to sing in "Rock Band." At the end of the night, we were pouring sweat and totally gross - but happy.

A friend of a friend told me I dance like a cat. I don't know what that means, but she says it's a good thing.

Anyway, the whole night was a massive contrast to a night we had just a few weeks ago in a club. We saw Judge Jules - in a regular club in Pioneer Square. That night - despite not being really dressed up, despite not wearing makeup, despite wearing my wedding ring, and despite BEING NEXT TO MY HUSBAND ALL NIGHT - I got my ass completely grabbed by a stranger, really obvious up-and-down looks from slimeballs, and shadow-danced with so much that my male friends had to push the guy away. UGH.

So I'm all about dnb now. I just have to get John into it. I promise he won't have a heart attack dancing to 180 bpm, really!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Hot. Ow. Yay!

So, here's me. Once upon a time, maybe a year or so ago, I thought it would be impossible for me to go even three days without exercising.

Oh how we change. I've since learned that when you take things one day at a time and just DON'T do something, it gets easier and easier not to.

I certainly haven't totally given up exercising...but it's a lot easier to skip now than it used to be. And as such, my weight lifting and yoga have basically completely fallen off.

So yesterday Danielle was teaching yoga at 8:15 p.m. It was a fairly important day for her (her own personal reasons), so I said I'd spend the evening with her and take her class.

Well, 8:15 p.m. at the hot yoga studio is CRAZY. There's a 90-minute class from 6:30 to 8 right before, and there were like seriously 45 people in a studio where 30 feels crowded. So in the 110-degree heat, it was humid and sweaty and stinky, before my class even started.

And I haven't done hot yoga since last September, and when I put on my yoga clothes, I saw all these lumps around my thighs and bottom than used to be there. Gross.

But anyway, I was going to go through with it.

Danielle is a seriously talented teacher. No matter what's going on in her personal life, she sets it aside and gives everything, every time, to her students. She's fun, encouraging, and just makes you both want to work hard and appreciate where you are right now.

So even though it was a zillion degrees and I'm nowhere near as flexible as I used to be and I weigh more and my head hurt every time it was lower than my heart, I pushed through and did as much as I could of the class. When it hurt the worst, I tried to recall the first few times I took hot yoga - how it was so hard, but how I walked out of the studio into the cool day and felt energized, cleansed from the inside out.

We laughed the entire way home. Sweating three pounds of water out can do that, I guess.

And today...I kinda want to go again!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

I am unbalanced. The Wii Fit told me so.

I'm totally not going to write exclusively about diet/exercise/training for triathlons any longer, because obviously I don't have too much to say. But ever since I got the Wii Fit, I've been dying to write about it.

I've wanted one of these things since I first heard of it, long before you could even order them in the US. I don't know why - it's not like I don't have a reasonable exercise regime, and I already know I hate working out indoors if I can go for a run outside.

But still, something about it drew me in - so I pre-ordered it on Amazon so I'd get it the day it came available.

I have to say, I'm somewhat impressed with it. It knows I'm unbalanced - it told me so right off the bat!

I know it actually means I put more weight on the right side of my body than my left (which I didn't know before the Wii Fit measured it), but still. Nice translation. And totally accurate anyway.

It also tells me I'm fat. So I know this about myself: my BMI always puts me right on the edge of normal weight and overweight. Some days I'm normal, some days I'm overweight - depending on clothes, time of the month, I ate too much yesterday, or whatever.

So when the Wii Fit weighs me and I come up "overweight" - even though it's BARELY in the overweight category - my little character (called a "Mii") grows a potbelly and looks down at it with a sad expression on her face.

It cracks me up every time - thank goodness I have reasonable self-esteem.

It does bug me, though, that it does that to my kids. Both kids come up as "overweight" even though, in my opinion, they're not fat. They're both solid. You can count Gabriel's ribs, and Camille gets kindy pudgy, then grows like three inches, then gets pudgy again. But neither is skinny. Gabriel doesn't care what the Wii says about him, but I can see the expression on my daughter's face and I know I'm going to be preventing eating disorders for the next 15 years. For now, though, I tell her it's calibrated for adults (a lie) and that she's perfect (the truth).

The games are kinda fun - Camille does a lot of yoga, and you can see her balance and posture improving. Gabriel and I prefer aerobics - I like the step aerobics games, and when I'm alone, I'll hula-hoop; Gabriel loves running. One night he ran around our kitchen island for - I am not exaggerating - 90 minutes. I was like dude, go outside. Seriously. If I wanted to run in place, I would have bought a treadmill and I'd be watching Law & Order re-runs, not listening to cheesy music and watching cartoon characters run.

I'm positive that the game is just a fad for us, just like Wii Sports was. We played a ton when we first got the Wii, like you do any video game, then you lose interest. But at the same time, I have worn my heart rate monitor while playing Wii Fit to see whether it can replace a real workout, and I think it can - though for someone like me who already knows how to exercise and enjoys it, I probably don't need to.

The one thing I wish it would let you do is count non-Wii Fit exercise in the log - it would be nice to be able to keep all of that data together, so even if today I go out and run six miles, I could weigh in on the Wii Fit and tell it I ran for an hour.

But anyway, since I'm not officially training for anything...I really don't need to track stats like that for now. :-)

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Where's my blog, dude?

Seriously, I stopped training for an Ironman (because, like, I did it) and I stopped blogging. But I kind of miss laying my life out there for the general public to mock, so I might start again.

I'm more interested in writing more generally this time though...so we'll see where this goes.

However, I'm not ready to start writing today. This was just an intro post to make Jeff stop bugging me. He should really write some code or something - seriously!