Friday, August 27, 2004

Requisite Olympic Post

So I've gotten to the point where watching the Olympics has become more of an obligation than a pleasure, but stumbled across one of the funnier, well-reasoned "events to eliminate" posts, so I thought I'd share. Enjoy!

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

If I track it in a spreadsheet, it should count as work

My work place is participating in the American Cancer Society's Active for Life program. Basically, we form teams, and each team member sets a goal for the number of "points" one will accumulate over a 10 week program. Points come from the number of activity minutes (exercise), drinking water, and making healthy nutritional choices. The point isn't to have the most points, but rather that everyone makes his/her own realistic goal and tries to stick to it.

Everyone's getting into it. It's fun to hear everyone celebrating the good things that they're doing (drinking more water, eating more fruits and veggies), rather than condeming themselves for what they should not have done (oh, I'm so bad; I ate 3 M&M's).

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Fish Tales

Funny anecdote for bicoastal seafood fans (or fans of bicoastal seafood? what about bivalves?): A guy who grew up in Seattle finds himself buying crabs for 2 in Maryland. When asked how many crabs he wants, he says one. Ha!

Thanks to my mom who told me this story that she heard on the plane last weekend.

And hey, seafood fans, check out this link that Brigita found to make better choices about the fish we eat. Glad to see some of my favorites (albacore, halibut, Alaskan salmon, the "big" crabs) are best choices!

Sunday, August 22, 2004

Trail Notes

What an amazing women's marathon race today: the triumph of Deena Kastor and the heartbreak of Paula Radcliffe on the historical, hellishly hilly course was incredible to watch live. While being interviewed shortly after finishing, Deena said something to the effect of while it looks like the runners are alone out there on the track, there are so many people really with them, they aren't, in fact, alone (referring to her family, friends, coach, fans, and everyone else who helped get her there). Ironically, my comment upon watching Paula's breakdown so close to the end was that despite the millions of people watching and cheering for her around the world, she must have felt desperately alone as she sat on the edge of the race course in tears.

I ventured out on the running trail again on Friday after an almost 2 week break from running (due to pre- and post-Courage Classic rest). I was a little surprised at how hard the 3.5 neighborhood route felt. I was strangely out of breath, and my legs felt quite tired by the end (and tight and sore today). I ran the same loop again this afternoon. A little easier (doesn't hurt that the temperature is in the upper 60's as opposed to the 80-something degrees of Friday evening), but I'm still feeling that decreased lung capacity.

Yesterday I did an open water swim in Lake Washington. For some reason, none of my training buddies were interested in swimming the mile with me, so I went on my own. I flirted with the idea of biking the 12 or so miles to the start at Seward Park and testing out my never raced in triathlon suit, but wisely decided to drive there instead (and wear normal racing swim suit). This was perhaps the third time that I've swum this summer, so I was a little nervous about it. I did fine, although as always it's a little scary swimming in open water, watching the vegetation sway below, searching for the buoy ahead, and feeling the arms of the swimmers behind. For some reason, no matter how large the lake, someone always wants to swim right through you. I finished my mile in 36:12, finishing # 221 of 300-something? swimmers. The fastest woman finished in 22 minutes. Guess I have some work to do before next year (and I will be swimming next year)!

Thursday, August 19, 2004

If Peter Parker Picked a Party at the Primary, Which Politicians would Peter Piper Pick?

For the first time in Washington, voters will have to select a party in order to vote in the primary (for partisan candidates; no need for non-partisan positions and ballot measures). While I almost always vote for the same party, I, like many other Washingtonians I've spoken to and heard from, are a little irked. There's a reason I'm not a member of a party; I want to support who I want, when I want. State politics are pretty darn important; I'm not sure that people really understand how our local politicians really control those things closest to our daily lives (from gay marriage to tax structure to education and health policy). Mark your calendar, Washingtonians: September 14th!

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

We Did It (for the kids, you know)!

So to set the record straight, I only did 2 days of the Courage Classic last weekend. A friend of mine was married on Saturday, so while Jeff was climbing Snoqualmie Pass, I was navigating the Seattle bus system, trying to successfully get from home to the wedding to the other side of the mountains, all sans car. It was a pretty (hot and humid) wedding, and I got where I needed to go, with only a slight hiccup as I got off the bus a few blocks away from where I needed to be in a neighborhood in which I would have rather not been wandering alone in uncomfortable shoes and pearls.

Anyway, the ride was a lot of fun. Day 2 was a little easier that last year since it was day 1 for me. As I passed people climbing the summit of Blewit pass, I felt like I needed to appologize for that fact: "on your left; fresh legs passing." My least favorite part is the downhill, but with Jeff at my back to look out for cars and other passing riders (I was doing the passing going up; most of those people probably passed me going down) it was not too scary. Day 3 was almost as tough as I remembered, but we had less of a headwind this year as we climbed 3000 ft over 43 miles.

We had a team of over 20 people this year, and it was so much fun cheering each other up the hills and sharing stories over beers at the end of the day. We also had team jerseys this year, so we felt like US Postal as we rode together. Hopefully, we'll all be back next year!

Friday, August 13, 2004

I'll Raise a Glass of Champagne

In rememberance of Julia Child this weekend. I grew up on Julia's recipies, and thanks to her can make a beautiful souffle. I still don't think that I've seen anyone on Food TV hold a candle to her cooking instruction and graciousness in the kitchen.

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

We're THIS close... achieving our fundraising goal for the Courage Classic. Any last minute donors can go here to donate $$$ to a very worthy cause. We'll do all the riding, you don't need to do any of that!

Thanks to all who have already donated! We're just about there!!

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

With Shoes Dyed to Match

Whether you have bought and worn an ugly bridesmade dress yourself, or are picking out dresses for your own soon-to-be-ex-friends / bridesmades, this site is for you.

From NPR.

Monday, August 09, 2004

Two Hours of My Life? Priceless.

Aware of bad reviews, but wanting to end the suspence about "the secret," Jeff and I saw The Village this weekend. As always, Ebert wrote the review that I would have written if I were a very clever professional movie critic. As I watched the film, I was ambivelent as to whether I regretted the $ 7.50 I spent on the ticket. In retrospect, considering that together we paid $5 for parking, $15 for tickets, and $9.50 for snacks, I'd say that this while this film may have been worth $7.50, it was certainly not worth the collective $30 and 4 hours that Jeff and I spent. At least we used the parking for a short and productive shopping trip.

Saturday, August 07, 2004

Amazing Pizza Creation # 17 - Thai Chicken

We used some of Jeff's dough (left over from amazing pizza creation # 4: BBQ chicken on the grill) and baking instructions for the backbone of the pizza.

Toppings: mixed up some bottled Thai peanut sauce (kinda eh without doctoring; we usually make our own for satay or swimming angel) with bottled BBQ sauce (about 50/50 mix) and finely diced cooked chicken. We topped that with a mixture of bean sprouts, diced green onions, shredded carrots, and finely juillianned (sp?) red bell pepper. We covered the whole thing with grated cheese (we used the pre-shredded "Mexican mix"). After it was baked, we threw on some chopped cilantro.

This was truly one of the better pizzas I've ever eaten. Next time I make it I think I'll add a little chili paste for zing, and may possibly mix the cilantro with the veggies rather than adding it last. I think that it's good that we only had enough dough for a smallish pie; otherwise we'd have eaten until we popped.

Friday, August 06, 2004

Trail Note: We ran, we ran so far a-wayayay...

I've been meaning to post about the Nike Run Hit Wonder all week and haven't been able to make much progress, so here are the basics:

  • Traffic between Seattle and Portland bites
  • While having race numbers imprinted on dry-weave race shirts is a great concept, it requires tight coordination so that people get the right size - and not by accident
  • After fighting runner traffic and huffing and puffing for the first mile, Jeff and I decided to take it easy, enjoy the music and the surroundings, and not try to "race" the 10K run
  • Resulting chip time: 50:24; not one of my better 10K's
  • There were one hit wonder bands at every mile of the route, and they did not sing their one hit wonders over and over again. Disappointing, because hearing "I ran" by Flock of Seagulls who were at mile 5 would have really helped me get up that last hill
  • Having a tasty beer at 9:30 in the morning is a guilty pleasure, so be sure to have ID and cash with you at all times in case you chance upon a beer garden

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

Trail Note: watch your valuables!

About once a week this summer I've been bringing my bike work, biking home (I'm guessing the mileage to be somewhere in the low 30's), and then biking in the next morning. I did this yesterday/today along with someone else in my office training for the Courage Classic (M). We rode about halfway home together until our paths split and I headed north and a little west and he headed NE towards his house. We tried a new (to us) route of getting from the office downhill to the trail we both take, which is a little steeper but much prettier with less car traffic than the original way.

This morning after the ride I saw M and asked how he faired riding back up the hill (steep hill at the end of a almost 70 mile round trip; I was hurting!). He never did ride up the hill, either the old or the new route. Rather, he had stopped at one of the port-o-lets on the trail about 3 miles from work, and while inside his bike disappeared. He called the police on his cell phone (good thing it wasn't in the bike's saddle bag), they arrived quickly, and one took off in the direction of the suspected thief while the other took M's information and then offered him a ride to the office. Not long after they got in the car they heard that the bike had been found!

I've used that same port-o-let before, and have always worried about my bike, but figured that there was little chance that a thief would wander by in the 30 seconds that I was inside.

Between this and Jeff's story about his wallet today, I'm going to keep good track of my stuff. Be careful if you're on the road today!