Too old to blog?

Apparently when you turn 30, life gets suddenly busy and blogging gets procrastinated. I’ve got too much to catch up on now. But I’ll post a bunch of pics and try to recall what I can.

On July 3rd I tried something for the first time. It was “lady’s night” at the gun shooting range and Yancy’s coworker asked us to come. Apparently there’s a good discount if a woman is part of your group. It was very loud and really cold, but kinda fun. Yancy and I rented a 9mm and a 45. The first one was ok. I thought I’d be scared of the bigger gun, but it was actually more fun to shoot. It had so much kick that my arm would literally go up at least 6 inches after each shot! I definitely killed my target… a lot (picture below). Yancy had a blast! Some of his other coworkers from Amazon were also having a first time experience with guns and I had fun watching them too. We all went out for dinner at an Italian pizza place after. It was a very different and interesting evening. 🙂

For July 4th I did an early morning open water swim with some friends. Some were just getting exercise and some of us were practicing for the big event on July 8th: Wademan (see my post on 7/8/12). We swam 1.5 miles in Lake Washington, close to were Sunday’s swim would be. It was such a beautiful day and I loved being out there with like minded people. At one point I looked up and saw the perfect view of Mount Rainier. After the swim Yancy and I went out for breakfast and ran some errands, then headed out for a hike. We were originally planning a challenging hike to Lake Serene (about 8 miles round trip with a BIG elevation gain). But we got such a late start that I decided to do a different hike: Big Creek Falls & Otter Falls (out near Snoqualmie Middle Fork Road). It’s a LONG drive over the nastiest pot holey road I’ve ever driven on. No joke! But when you get out there at last, it’s so quiet and beautiful. I had done the hike last year with my friend Stephanie, but didn’t really remember the details. Yancy looked online at the hike details but apparently didn’t read them because he was focusing on the driving directions… so we ended up having a little adventure. I misread the sign & map at the beginning and thought it was a much shorter hike. Then we didn’t take the right turn and went about 1.5 miles UP a very rocky and steady incline. We turned around when we met other hikers and realized we’d gone the wrong way. So three miles in, we get on the right path… but didn’t realize that out destination was still almost FIVE miles ahead. Yancy was hurting pretty bad before we reached it, but he knew I really wanted to see the falls so put on his game face and pushed though. This is why I love him! Even though he wasn’t ready for a hike of this distance yet, he still went so that I would be happy. When we finally reached Big Creek Falls we sat down and had a picnic. Those luke warm sandwiches tasted so good! We took the “secret” side path to see Otter Falls and Lipsy Lake and it was worth it! By the time we were almost done it was my turn to be miserable. My feet were hurting so bad and I was feeling just a little exhausted. In the future Yancy’s probably gonna think twice about letting me lead a hike! We had hoped to do 6-8 miles and ended doing over 13!!! And it on the kind of rocky path that just kills your feet. Between that hike and the swim, I burned some serious calories that day! 🙂

My 30th birthday party was a lot of fun. Can’t remember if I posted about this or not, but Yancy SURPRISED me a few days earlier with a brand spanking new gas grill. I was carrying groceries into the house after work and had to do a double take when I came around the corner and saw the grill sitting in the yard. It’s so awesome! We’ve done a few meals on it already and love it (except that Yancy accidentally left the gas on over night so the tank is empty now). My mom and bff Paula came over as well as a whole bunch of my local friends. We had planned to go to the beach, but with the new grill I decided to have everyone to our place. The weather was perfect for outdoor fun in the yard. We came inside and played a dice game and had a few drinks when it started getting dark. Couldn’t have asked for a better day. Good bye 20’s! It was fun, but I’m looking ahead for more adventures in my 30’s! :O)
I know I already posted about my swim, but the aftermath is still a problem. The sudden increase in swimming (Team swim practice 7/2, 1.5 miles on 7/4, and 2.5 miles on 7/8) gave me “bicep tendonitis” in my right shoulder. Basically makes it very painful to lift my arm. After some icing, massage, and rest, it’s doing much better. Even with this annoying little set back, I still feel really proud of myself. How many people do you know can say they’ve jumped in a lake and swam 2.5 miles?!? I am so thankful for my health and for the support of friends!

The following weekend had no formal Team practice, so I went on a short hike with my friend Stephanie. It was a 3 mile hike to Wallace Falls (on the i90 corridor). OMG, it was crazy hot/muggy up there! The weather website said something like 96% humidity! And the mosquitoes were out in force. I got at least 7 bites. But it was all worth it to see the beautiful falls and spend time with my friend. She’s about 7 months pregnant, so the pace was slow and we had lots of time to chat. That evening Yancy and I went to a play to watch another friend of ours. It was the Gilbert & Sullivan “Iolanthe” play and Jessi was one of the singing fairies (one of the “funny” ones with a bent wand and high-top shoes). The show was pretty fun, but sometimes hard to understand. The plot was cute and it had a great ending. Jessi came out to say hi to us in costume. A little girl asked her for an autograph and it was so cute! After the show Yancy and I went out for a drink and desert at the Melting Pot. We got an assortment of things to dip in a chocolate fondu. YUM! We need to go back there and try dinner… when we have some money to burn since the place was a little expensive.

On Tuesday last week I got suckered into being a sub for the office volley ball team. They play in a lower level league once a week. Two coworkers were on vacation, two were out with injuries, and another had to work so they were hurting for teammates and asked me last minute. I haven’t played volley ball since early high school and I remember being pretty terrible at it. Plus I didn’t get to practice at all before the games started. But I didn’t suck quite as bad as I expected. We lost 5 out of the 5 games, but it wasn’t a straight up slaughter. We only had 4 people playing a team that should have been 6! I enjoyed being out in the park getting some exercise, but not sure if I’ll be volunteering again for their team.

Here are the promised pictures:

Ok, this mostly catches up though last week. I better try to stay up to date (or else be less adventurous), because this took so long to write. And there’s still much more! Ta Ta For Now.

Let me tell you about my Monday

I have to say, I’m really loving this reduced work schedule! This morning Yancy and I did a fasting blood draw for an “employee wellness” thing at work. We went out for breakfast which ended up being a disaster for me. We tried a new place in Bellevue: The Pancake Coral or something like that. Usually breakfast places will at the very least have some omelet options that are partially paleo. This place had NO vegetables, and no fruit unless on a waffle. I ended up ordering “corn-beef & hash” thinking it to be one of the lesser evils on the menu. I did not expect what came: a round patty of unidentifiable “meat” with the consistency of what I imagine cat food to be like with tiny little square chunks of what I assume was potato. I barely choked it down, ate the scrambled egg, and one slice of sourdough toast. I was a little nauseated when I left. Not because the food was bad, but psychologically the meal was torture. Now that I’m getting used to eating natural/whole foods, that way over-processed food was disgusting. I never plan to eat at that place again. I would so much rather spend 10 minutes at home cooking something that I know is healthy and fresh!

Ok, enough ranting about breakfast. 😛 After dropping Yancy off for work I went grocery shopping. 95% of my time was spent on one side of the store: produce and the butcher department. I have my menu planned out for the next 4 days and all the goods to make some fantastic meals.

My good friend Stephanie came over around the time I was working on a cup of homemade coffee. We visited for a while, then went to the Redmond Watershed for a “hike” in the drizzle. Because of the tall trees we stayed mostly dry and not too cold, but definitely got muddy. I didn’t see any wildlife, but we did almost get run over by some horses. Other than a few random trail runners and those 3 horses (& their riders), we had the place to ourselves. It was a very peaceful walk. My pedometer said we did at least 10,000 steps. Not sure the exact mileage, but it was somewhere between 4 and 5 miles. My calves were talking to me the whole time, and screaming on the downhill parts, but they actually feel a little better this evening.

We came back to my house and she helped me cook lunch: shrimp/pineapple skewers with steamed broccoli and a honey crisp apple. We’re a good culinary team, because it was a fantastic meal. We each had our fill for LESS than 500 calories each. Exercise with good company, a good meal, and a relaxing day. That’s what I’m talking about!! Life is good! 🙂

After Stephanie left I vegged out for a bit and chatted online with Yancy. I was doing some research about signing up for the bone marrow donor registration program. Apparently a person’s odds for finding a match within their own family is only 30% and with the general population it’s 1 in 20,000!! If you’re that 1 person, you could have the opportunity to save someone’s life with a simple procedure! Check out that link for info, it’s not as scarey as it sounds. The only thing that might prevent me from being on their registry is my history of back pain, but I think my issues are only related to muscle strength and posture so I’ll have to ask them about it. The program is supposed to have someone at the race we’re doing on 3/4/12. Yancy and I have raised lots of money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, but this is another way to give. We actually have a friend who’s life was saved by a bone marrow transplant. If I’m eligible to be a donor and someone out there is my match and needs it, I’d be happy to help.

And then I took a NAP.  🙂 Yancy worked a little late so I started cooking dinner and let him walk home from the bus. I made turkey kabobs under the oven broiler. I did an extra skewer of tomatoes and one of mushrooms, then I threw some asparagus in half way through the cooking. It was a fantastic dinner, and under 400 calories (counting the apple we shared after dinner)! Wow, we really eat well in this house! :O)

The rest of the evening will be spent relaxing in the living room and hanging out with Yancy. I have some books I’m working through and he has games and other geeky things going on. I’ll try to get to bed at a decent hour because tomorrow it’s back to busy life. Three 10 hour days, and another busy weekend. But life is good, I’m feeling happy and in control of my future.

Exercise

Yancy wasn’t able to make it to personal training with Cathy on Friday morning due to his busy week at work. So she cooked up this great idea to have me and her 9am client go climb stairs instead of working out at the studio. Holy crapoli, that was an amazing workout! I’m pretty sore today. Any time I’ve been sitting for a while it’s pretty awkward getting back up, and going down stairs is ridiculous!  😛  Check out pics below. I went up and down the steps FIVE times. I counted around 188 steps coming down, that doesn’t count the landings in between flights. It’s good training for the Big Climb Yancy and I will be participating in on 3/25. And good training for the hiking I’m hoping to do this summer. It was fun to be outdoors even though I didn’t love the specific location (practically under I5). After the stairs we went to Cathy’s house and did some core exercises. Then I went to the pool for a very short set of lap swimming (mostly working on arms) and a good soak in the hot tub. I was pretty exhausted by the time I got home and ended up taking a 2 hour nap.  🙂  I’m taking today as a rest day (other than the walking around we did when shopping this morning). Tomorrow morning we’ll be running 3 miles and then doing circuit training… hope my legs are recovered enough by then! 🙂

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Hike to Big Creek & Otter Falls

Driving up to the trail head took us longer than we thought it would. 12.5 miles on a VERY rough dirt road full of potholes. We did a 10 mile round trip hike to Big Creek Falls, with a small side trip to Otter Falls and Lipsy Lake. All I can say is WOW, freaking beautiful!!! Loved the falls!!! And loved walking next to the beautiful Taylor River.  The trail was ok too. Pretty quiet and not a lot of elevation, but it was very rocky. My feet were hurting for the last three miles back to the car. Still worth every minute to see the views and enjoy the fresh air, not to mention good conversations with a wonderful lady (my friend Steph). If this is our first hike of the summer, I can’t wait to see what’s next (which may end up being a month away with our busy schedules)!

Here’s a few pictures… really need to invest in a real camera, the iPhone just doesn’t do it justice.

Short hike on Tiger Mountain

Yancy and I cut our hike short since neither of us were feeling well. We had a group of 13 (the core group of our New Balance Triathlon Team), there was snow and ice everywhere, and the temp really was somewhere between 20 and 30 degrees. We still got 2 miles tramping in the snow and I’m glad we did at least that. The rest of the Team went on to get a 6.2 mile hike in. My new waterproof pants kept me warm (in fact I ended up getting too hot with all my gear), and the new hiking backpack was pretty comfortable. But I have to practice not leaning forward when going up hill with a pack. I’m soooooo looking forward to the hikes this summer! And to being over this crud!

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20 degrees

Yes, it’s 20 degrees Fahrenheit at my house right now… 6:40am and I’m sitting here eating breakfast, getting ready to go for a HIKE!!!! On a mountain that will mostly likely have snow! If you don’t hear from me again, call Yancy, or send Search & Rescue to Tiger Mountain.   LOL.   Wish me luck. Pics and the story later. Have a great day!

 

OMG! Calves are hurting!!!

Yesterday I went for a hike with my Teammate Shabnam and a few friends. For some reason she thought a grueling eight mile hike would be good for me! She wanted to prove something to me I guess. Something about being able to do more than I thought I could do or something else noble like that… This all started from a conversation where I was whining about how I hate going up hills (specifically on a bike or running).

Shabnam couldn’t have picked a better day for a hike! It was rainy and cold, a day much better spent indoors in my opinion, but I still managed to have a good time. Yancy had planned to go with us, but backed out last minute (to work on his computer I think). Five of us hiked up “Big Si” Mountain in North Bend… 8 miles total, gaining about 3,500 feet… pretty much straight up! I was the slowest of the group and felt lame always having to call a stop to catch my breath. Everyone else looked comfortable. But we climbed those 4 miles of 3,500 foot incline at a pace of about 30-32 minutes/mile. That’s actually a really good pace! My legs were basically spent by the time we got to the top. Well, we didn’t go all the way to the top. That would have included scrambling over a nasty pile of wet rocks called “the haystack”… We stopped for a while to eat snacks & candy and sit around shivering. One of the guys on the hike made us hot chocolate which was the highlight of my day. We stayed up there a little too long because I got REALLY cold. The walk back down was easier, but my feet and knees were a little sore by the end. Mostly I was just freezing and sick of being wet. We had a late lunch at the North Bend Bar & Grill. That burger tasted soooo good!

The soreness really kicked in this morning. I was shocked at how stiff my calves were when I stepped out of bed. They actually hurt now, and get worse every time I sit for a while and get back up. My calves hurt so bad that I’m not really feeling pain anywhere else. And it’ll probably be worse tomorrow… gotta love that “2-day curse!” This whole weekend was really intense for the leg muscles: Friday, my personal trainer “focused on running muscles” in our workout, Saturday I did a 25 mile bike ride on rolling hills (in the wet & cold), and Sunday I did a hard 8 mile hike (in the wet & cold)!   Oh I can’t wait for the summer!

Tonight is swim practice with the Team and I’m really nervous. I have a history of cramping in the feet and calves if I do intense exercise the day before swimming (usually when I do speed intervals of running). Not sure how the calves will handle pushing off of the pool wall. We shall soon see.  (next rest day is Thursday I think)

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