(Almost) Wordless Wednesday

I love seeing deer less than 10 miles away from Boston
Why am I posting a salad? Because I grew this in my cinderblock garden!
My new favorite ice cream, caramel pretzel! And yes, a pint is a single serving!
Bacon donuts. Why? Why not?
Wounded donut soldiers. What was left in the kitchen after the rapture.
Pool party eats
Malden Farmer Market Finds!
Have you met our other cat Brody? He’s a little more shy but I think he looks like Simba.
Spanish Omelette from Vic’s waffle house I went to after my Triathlon
Don’t worry I got a waffle too. Whole grain with vanilla yogurt, granola and banana. So good, I hate half before I could take a non-blurry photo
Jack and I played a game. Every time he would try to scratch the yoga mat, I would spray him. The bottle was half empty before he lost interest.
My current addiction while I am not exercising this week and try to heal my stupid leg.

 

 

2013 Appleman Triathlon Race Recap

The 2013 Appleman Sprint Triathlon took place on Sunday July 14th at 8AM in Littleton, MA.  Registration was $70 plus $12 USAT fee that every triathlon does. I haven’t done any triathlons but I think that’s relatively inexpensive for sign-up a month before.

The race was sold out to 600 people according to race directors.  However, race results show only 470 individuals which includes the disqualified individuals.  I think maybe the others were in team relay.

I set the alarms the night before always in constant fear of oversleeping.

I woke up well before 5:40 since it was hot, I was excited and nervous and my choice of food and beverages from Saturday’s pool party were probably not the best (but still totally worth it).

Luckily, I packed all my gear (besides my clothes) and bike into the car the night before.

The “gear”

Swim – Speedo goggles, pink swim cap the race gave, sports bra and shorts,

Bike – Jamis Coda Femme Hybrid Bike, Old most likely expired helmet (I ordered a new one after I noticed the foam was separating from the plastic.), Wave Sayonaras, my favorite old navy running tank, camelpak filled with water a nuun tab.

Run – Same mizunos I biked in.

Misc. Two towels, One to lay out my transition items, one to wipe my feet, extra pair of socks in case I spilled water or something, Gu, a cap (in case it rained?), a bottle of water to wash my feet. Babywipes, to freshen myself up before getting brunch.

Since I spent all of Friday night prepping my list and setting up a tri-pile in our living room, I was able to get dressed and make a peanut butter sandwich and shuffle myself and my favorite partner out of the house in 20 minutes!  We got rewarded with a fairly easy drive to Littleton in about 36 minutes.  I guess not too many folks are out on the roads at 6AM on a Sunday.  I wonder what they could be doing ;).

At 7AM, an hour before gun shot, about half of the athletes already showed up.  I got my number, my time tag, and began setting up my transition area.  Failure #1: I set up my transition towel on the wrong side of the bike before a volunteer tells me I did all wrong (in a nice way).  Good thing I got started with everything any hour early.

Failure #2 – Everyone with road bikes used their drop bars to attach their bike.  Mine didn’t have any and it took me a while to figure out how I too can secure my bike to the mount.  Luckily Tony was there before I started crying.

The slogan for this photo is “triathlons, best cure for hangovers”

I was set up and ready to go with 40 minutes to start time.  I know T would have liked more sleep but I didn’t mind being early too much.  It was nice to relax and watch all the triathletes set up.  Plus I got to do another race with my friend Anna.

.

The swim was a half mile in Long Pond (doesn’t it seem like every pond is “long pond”).  You see that orange buoy to the left, we swam there, then across of an orange buoy so far to the right it didn’t make it to my photo.

The swimming was in waves broken up by age and gender.  Male/Female, Under 40/Over 40 and I’m not sure what the 5th wave was.  What the race also offered was a swim angel if you wanted one.  This amazing individual will swim with you and a noodle the whole race. You can rest on the noodle when you need to and as long as you don’t swim with it, you are not disqualified!

The offered it to the first wave, the men under 40 and no one took one.  As soon as they offered it to my wave, my hand went straight up!

Somewhere all the way to the left and the back is me in that pink hat wave!  I might have gotten a little too much to the left and paid the price in slowly having to swim back around across.

Visibility was nonexistent in the pond.  I’m not sure if water in a lake is any clearer.  I did hit someone by accident while I was underwater and felt awful.  Although I did get hit a few times myself.  My swim angel warned me whenever the other waves were catching up but luckily I was able to avoid most crowds until the end.

I ended up not using the noodle once, but it was nice to know that if I got kicked in the head, someone would notice if I couldn’t resurface!

And yes, towards the end I was checking every second if my feet could touch land and as soon as they did I gave up swimming in the mass of bodies and ran!

T1 was interesting.  I don’t know why a lot of people were walking over to their bikes so slowly.  I don’t know if I was being rude, but I ran past the people that would stop dead short and walk in the narrow transition walk out of the area. I think I did a great job of running while removing my goggles and cap.  Face of pure determination right there.

Total Time 25:59
Division 15/19
Overall 431/470

Total DFL was all I could think.

Pulled my shirt on, snapped on my camelpak, shoved my feet into my socks and shoes, helmet secured and walked my biked, well ran my bike over to where we could start the bike part at the bottom of a small hill.

The bike

While I did 2 or 3 bike rides while training for this race, one thing I never biked on was hills. For some reason I imagined the course to be fairly flat.  Well, the hills forced me to learn my gears quickly.  Big gear, little gear, I was switching back and forth.  I got passed by a lot of road bikes, and I passed a few of them back on the uphill.  My legs definitely didn’t expect biking to be as challenging as it was.  The downhill part was fun and while I was always terrified of a sharp turn at each bottom and a helmet that would probably shatter before it would protect my brains, for the most part I blazed as fast as my little bike could carry me.

Overall, had I done a few hill bike rides and learned how to use my gears faster, I think the course would have been a blast! And a road bike would have helped.  Dear summer Santa, bring me a road bike.

Total Time 40:31
Division 10/19
Overall 294/470

The Run

By the time I was getting to the run, I was in the back of the pack and I was ready to get down to business.  The run! I mean it’s only 3 miles.  My 10K PR is 6:45 pace so a 3 mile should be a breeze.  Well as soon as I got off my bike, the definition of brick set in.  I didn’t realize the hills is what makes the brick run, not a relaxing bike ride through a flat road I practiced on.

This is not exact distance but this is how the run appeared to me.  I didn’t see any mile markets so who knows.

Run a mile uphill.  Run half a mile across a flat field trail.  Run half a mile up a muddy trail with boulders (because clearly I didn’t get enough mud in June), run a half mile downhill on a trail with no boulders, .75 miles downhill on roads and .25 miles to the finish line!

It was hot.  I’m not certain but I think by the time I was running weather was around 85 and I ran under every kind resident who offered their hose water.  I took cups of water and poured over my head so I could continue passing people.

The run was a challenge, but I think the variety made it fun, or maybe I was feeling a little better because all those people who passed me on a road bike, well their clip in pedals can’t help them then!

I was determined to not let anyone pass me.  I mean I was in the back of the pack to begin with but I wasn’t going to throw in the towel just because I was losing.

Total Time 26
Division 2/19
Overall 93/470

Overall, I think this triathlon was a great experience.  If anything, my short comings are motivating me to train longer and better for my next one.  I don’t know when or where, but I want to do an Olympic sprint distance next.  Maybe with a few more months of swimming. But first, I need to get a road bike!

Overall Results

Total Time 1:32:31
Division 9/19
Overall 277/470

I’m pretty happy with how I worked myself back up.  Can I call this a negative split race?

Mount Washington Hike – White Mountains Adventures

I once read a list of top 10 deadliest hikes in America and of course immediately knew I wanted to do ALL of them.  I have problems I know.  As I scanned the list and frowning that so far I have only accomplished one.  The mist trail to the Half Dome in Yosemite (P.S. totally worth it.  Probably the most amazing hike I have done to date) was that one.

As my eyes continued to scan the list, I noticed that Mountain Washington, a hike a mere 3 hour drive (thought from someone who can’t drive) from Boston was also on the list.  Ever since then, I’ve been inching to go.  Tony has done the hike in the winter and we slowly collected some gear but it never worked out.  Finally July 4th weekend was perfect timing.

I mean it’s hot, so it should be tolerable at the summit right?

A few facts!

At 6,288 feet, it is the highest point in the northeast USA.

In April 1934, the observatory recorded a 231-mile-per-hour (372 kmh) wind that remains a world record for a land-based weather station.

Some of the observatory buildings are secured to the summit with chains to keep them from blowing away.

Temperatures atop the mountain can drop as low as -47 degrees Fahrenheit (-44 C)

But once again, it’s summer and 90 degrees at the base so how bad could it really be on top.

As we parted the car, we noticed other hikers coming out of their cars with large backpacks filled with something or other and I suddenly got very subconscious of my lack of gear.

Everyone needs a selfie at the base. I look more ready to go to the beach than I am to hike one the top 10 most dangerous hikes!

The ‘gear” we had

1. One camelpak I use for running that holds 2 liters of water
2. 2 smaller bottles of water in Tony’s backpack
3. 3 Peanut butter sandwiches & a few lara bars
4. headlamps – Because after almost being stuck on a trail in pitch darkness in Yosemite, we never leave without it
5. T shirt and shorts for Tony, Tank, hoodie and shorts for Liana
6. Innov-8 running shoes for Liana and saucony virrata for Tony

The fact that all the other hikers had rain gear and pants should have been a smarter sign for us but again its 90 at the base, just the thought of more layers made me sweat.

A photo looking down about .2 mile into the hike

From the beginning, there is no slow easy walk in the woods.  The boulders start from the beginning.  Although at a gradual incline level, you will be hiking rocks the whole trail.

And while the trail itself is unpleasant brutal horrible  challenging, you are constantly rewarded with beautiful cascades around you.

After 2.4 miles of boulder hoping you get to Tuckerman Ravine’s Shelters.

Very under-dressed for what’s to come

Can you see the storm that’s brewing above?

Now many hikers end their journey here.  Because after the tree line things get a little bit more gnarly.

Its like walking into the abyss

I’m still sweating and sweating from the heat, meanwhile my shoes are still soaking wet from a waterfall hike we did yesterday.

Visibility is getting worse but we’re still smiling

We are walking and taking pictures when suddenly it starts pouring rain and I start to understand why everyone was carrying rain gear.  Of course with lack of rain cover or even a plastic bag, I try to protect my camera and phone as best I can.  I cover it all up under my hoodie and hope for the best.

It starts getting darker and darker.  The rangers at the base said that there’s chances of thunder storms and if you see one coming, you should probably get below tree line.

We start noticing a few hikers turning around.  We’re probably half a mile from the summit.  Why would you hike 3.5 miles uphill just to turn around before you hit the summit.  I pouted and pouted as grew darker and rainier and I questioned how will I ever hike down these rocks once they’re wet.  We talked to one group of fit looking hikers who were turning around at the point we were at.  One of them summitted Mount Washington 7 times and said it’s probably best to not risk it with how bad the weather is.

I guess if the fit people with rain jackets are turning around, maybe its time for me to get my unprepared bum back down as well.  So sadly we turned and made the hike back down.  Had we went through the trouble of getting to the top, there would have been no visibility whatsoever, so there was very little to gain from going hire besides a high potential for injury, being stuck or getting struck by lightening.

On the clearest days, observers can see as far as Mount Marcy in New York State, 134 miles to the west.

So worry not Mount Washington, while I have yet to summit you, I’ll return and await a clear day when I can see as far as my almost blind eyes will allow me too.

The hike back down was a little scary on the ravine side.  The rocks got wet and suddenly were a lot more of a challenge going down than up.  It took me a while to get more comfortable.  Once we got into the tree line, it was back to be 90 and sunny.

Yes Mount Washington summit has a climate of it’s own.

While, I felt a little depressed about my weather luck lately, I did get to end the hike on a happy note.

I mean how could you not be happy after seeing that? Crystal cascades, about a 5 minute hike from the base?

Weekly Recap – Triathlon (Lack of) Training Week 3

Last week was a chill week.  I could have used the extra long weekend to run more and bike more and be cooler than you but I got lazy and just watched lots and lots of cats and fireworks.  It was hot and sometimes you need a chill week.

For a moment I had this crazy goal of trying to reach 3,000 miles (running) for 2013.  Than I did the math and that’s 65 miles per week or so for the rest of the year.  Yea… maybe next year!

Monday – Rest

Tuesday – I was a good little triathlete wannabe and did my workouts!  Ran 13 miles in two parts (8 and 5) and swam 1,000 yds.

Wednesday – I had a little motivation so I ran 8 miles so kinda okay

Thursday, Friday, Saturday – No running, no biking, no swimming, no real excuse.  I did hike about 3 miles on Friday and about 8-9 on Saturday =)

Preview of the Mount Washington hike

Sunday – I thought all those days off from running would help me regain my running mojo but instead it was hot and humid and I slowly suffered through 6.25 miles before I gave up.

However one great thing about this week was that I tested out the pond for my triathlon!   I am excited!  I will be the slowest swimmer that was but I can’t wait!

Total Miles 27.25

Total Feelings – I’m sick of summer

 

Ever lose your running mojo?

White Mountains Weekend – Waterfalls Fun!

After basking ourselves in displays of fireworks.  Tony and I woke up early to drive to NH on Friday.  Our main goal was to hike Mount Washington and just see what the White Mountains had to offer. Based on a friend’s recommendation we stayed at White Birches Campground.  The campsites were pretty spacious with very far bathrooms which is nice to be peaceful but if you wake up at 4AM, its peeing behind the tent for you!

Speaking of which! Check out my shiny new tent I brought for the TARC 50 miler that I ended up not using because after swimming in 25 miles of mud, I decided I earned my bed.

Of course the first thing I wanted to do was run up this hill we drove by.

The second thing I wanted to do was run this rail trail or at least bike it.  Alas, I did not bring my dinky bike.

We did pick up a lunch before our White Mountain experience started.

Yup SUBWAY.  I think with all my extra spinach and peppers, I almost made it worth 5 bucks.  Although it was weird to see all the usual chain fast food places in the White Mountains.  When Tony and I drove through southern Utah, there was barely any place at all.

Anyways we asked one of the ranger stations for some hike recommendations.  Unlike, my other trips, I did not buy a White Mountains book or research endlessly.  Although, I really wish I did.  I’m not a wing it kinda girl!

The first hike we did was called the Falls.   It passes four waterfalls fed by two mountain streams that drain waters from Mount Adams and Mountain Madison.  We only saw 3, so maybe we didn’t go far enough on the trail.  I got stuck at a crossing I didn’t want to fall into so we turned around.

Gordon Falls, which was probably the best out of the three we saw

The next were Salroc Falls which is broken up into two parts.

Lower? Salroc Falls

We passed by lots of slugs and mushrooms and beautiful greenery!

Slugs deserve love too!

The last falls we got to see on this hike was Gordon Falls

Tama Falls

We didn’t see the rest of the trail because we either a. lost it or b. it involved crossing Gordon Falls and after getting my feet wet and almost get swiped off into the water, I decided it was easier to turn around.

Tony hoped the rocks to cross, I got scared and gave up.

However, I made a new friend on our return.

ABCs of ME!

I haven’t done one of these since back in my LiveJournal days in high school.  Thought this might be fun for you to get to know me!  Plus, it’s better than my post where I freak out how slow of a swimmer I am that I was going to post instead today.

A. Attached or Single 

And three years later we have a beautiful baby (he’ll always be my baby) cat and a house with too many old house problems.

BBest Friend 

Yup and all the fabulous guys and gals that are in my life.  I am truly blessed with many great friends.

C. Cake or Pie Neither

I prefer cookies or brownies and if I’m lucky, I lump them together into a burger.

D. Day of Choice Any day I am on vacation and hiking/running somewhere crazy

Half Dome, Yosemite

E. Essential Item

Mizuno waverider running shoes.  I’ll simple perish if my babies are not within sight.

F. Favorite color  

Anything bright and annoying.  Just because I’m too sleepy to open my eyes doesn’t mean I shouldn’t shock you with the brightness!

raninbow liana

G. Gummy bears or worms  

Worms!! And Sour! So very sour.

Sour Worms

H. Hometown  BROOKLYN

Seriously, you can take the girl out of Brooklyn, but not the Brooklyn out of the girl.

Me and the fam on the boardwalk of Bright Beach

I. Favorite Indulgence  

Burger & sweet potato fries from bgood.  I don’t eat out often and I definitely don’t go to fast food, but sometimes I need a guilty pleasure

J. January or July 

Ahhh… a mild winter January.  I love the long days but I can’t take the heat!

K. Kids

Do furry ones count?

L. Life isn’t complete without  Friends, family, chocolate, whiskey and cats

M. Marriage date 

No I won’t take your hand and marry the state!

N. Number of brothers/sisters 1 younger brother 

O. Oranges or Apples  

Apples, I hate food that takes effort to eat, peeling an orange is effort.

P. Phobias  Hiking down ravines, running downhill, anything downhill.  I’m like a cat, I can climb up the tree but I need a firefighter to get me down.

Slowly making my way down Angel’s landing in Zion. Thank god for the railing!

Q. Quotes 
“I want to stay as close to the edge as I can without going over. Out on the edge you see all kinds of things you can’t see from the center.” ~Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., Player Piano

R. Reasons to smile

Scuba diving! I’m long overdue for a trip.  Anyone want to take me to Turks & Caicos?

S. Season of choice  Spring! I used to love the fall, but not I work long hours and days so SPRING!

Flowers from Boston Public Garden

TTag 5 People. PASS.  This tagging people part always stressed me out

U. Unknown fact about me 
I hoard food and snacks like a grandma.  I am currently addicted to candy crash. I add salt to my salted peanut butter.  The big one? I’m 26, have my license and yet I don’t know how to drive.

V. Vegetable Baby Spinach

W. Worst habit I pick and bite my nails.

X. Xray or Ultrasound ??? Um I prefer neither!

Y. Your favorite food Pretzels! Is that a food or snack? Nachos?  Can I count that as food?

ZZodiac sign Scopio!  Yup, I’m scary

 

Anything you were surprised to learn?
Pick one letter and answer it yourself in the comments below

July 4th & Bliss Spa

It’s Monday, and it’s not that I have the “Mondays” as much as long weekend is over and so is my life WAAAAAAHH! blues.

It was 95s most of the weekend and for the first time in a few years I decided to take a brake and relax.  Instead of waking up at 7AM to try to run while it was only 83 and not 93, I slept in, took 5 showers a day (sometimes 6 my current record) and play with the laser pointer and my cats.  And don’t worry, I took some videos such as the jump and the Jacko go round.  

On Wednesday, I got out of work early for the long weekend and went to Bliss Spa for a ginger wrap treatment.  (I had an expiring GiltCity voucher I needed to use).

Well first I started with a pretty great breakfast:

Guacamole!!! Of course I had to get an omelette and home fries.

Anyways back to Bliss Spa.  Its near Chinatown at the W-Hotel so gross location but swanky hotel.

The locker rooms were loaded with all the bliss products to use after your shower.

You then wait in this swanky waiting area couch with some refreshments.  I could have used some champagne too but I guess lemon ice water and their infamous brownies will have to do.

Now you might think this is torture:

But basically they lotion you up in real ginger and then foil you up to bake in the ginger.  It was nice but a little to hot for the 93 weather outside.

They have really awesome steam showers and multiple headed showers where you feel like you’re in a tropical forest.  However, I was a little hot and just took my cold shower, dosed myself in all the bliss products and moved on.

Zebra dress from Marshalls via Instagram Unvalidated 

Our July 4th started out healthy!

Okay, that was a lie, but it was FREE!  Nathan hotdog plus Italian ice, can it really ever get more American?  Malden does this free grill thing on the 4th in all it’s parks!

We searched 4 stores for a cooler but in the end all I purchased was a pair of shiny owl earrings from Old Navy.

Cajun Crawfish rolls from Stop & Shop which after I wiped down the mayo, tasted pretty good for supermarket sushi.  Anyone else ever buy impulse supermarket sushi?

Tony and I donned our red, pasty white and blue.  He refused to take a photo since he copied my outfit and instead I sneaked one in.

We went to a fabulous BBQ at a friend’s house were I was too busy eating and chatting to be a paparazzi.  Afterwards, we went to the Cambridge side of the Charles and watched what I believe is the best Fireworks show in the country!

Crackheaded smile for all!

And I know all of you had enough of instagram and vine video of fireworks.  But just in case you haven’t, here’s a taste of what Boston did! Instagram Unvalidated 
http://www.runtomunch.com/wp-content/plugins/ultimate-tinymce/addons/media/moxieplayer.swf

How was your July 4th?  See any fireworks?