Switcharoo

Most people who know me know that random is my middle name, and that I tend to get bored easily.  Hence jorystory.tumblr.com.  This is my new creative outlet which will replace my WordPress blog indefinitely.  Enjoy!

Ice Day

Yesterday, we had an ice day.  There was a coating of over an inch of ice over everything.  I got an entire day off work and was actually somewhat productive!  I treadmilled, I trainered, I homeworked, and I even packed stuff up.

The ice coating looked kind of cool, until I tried to walk on it.  It really wasn’t all that cool at that point… kind of hard to walk on, but I still succeeded in walking to get take out food.  I was way too productive to cook anything.  This morning, my car actually got stuck in the ice.  Somehow the snow where I parked got really icy and ate my tire.  I was 40 minutes late to work today… and my car was still stuck.  Thankfully Kyle’s crappy car turned out to be good in ice!  Maybe there’s one reason not to try to make him get rid of it.

Anyway, I’m hoping that nice Mr. Phil was right about the whole “spring is coming early” thing, and the temperatures leave the 20s and 30s sometime soon.  I think I have spring fever.  I don’t think more cowbell will fix this fever no matter how much SNL I watch.  Groundhog, if you’re wrong, may PETA save your soul….  just kidding, I’m not that mean!

Ramblings for a Friday Afternoon

It’s snowing.  This is no longer news.  I think it’s been doing this since about 6 a.m. and we haven’t actually accrued any snow on the ground.  Yesterday I decided to forgo group training at the Velodrome in favor of an outdoor run after work.  Although it isn’t cool to bail on the training group, it felt fantabulous to be expanding energy outside that wasn’t in the form of snow removal.  I ran for an hour and realized that it’s now staying light later… signs of spring!  I’ll take it.  It also didn’t feel very cold.  I will thank the days of 20 degree highs for that.  I ran pretty slow, but I was completely spent by 8 p.m.  I felt like I had done hill repeats or something crazy like that.  I guess that’s what going outside after being locked down to a treadmill or trainer will do.

Speaking of the treadmill… I busted out my new running shoes for this morning’s 5-mile run.  Saucony ProGrid Kinvaras.  LOVE!  I’ve never worn Saucony running shoes before, but I don’t have any complaints so far.  They are really light, and I was planning to save them for Spring until I realized the treadmill had done a number on my Mizunos.  I’ll probably get another pair of the Saucony shoes as long as these are good!  It’s funny, I’m pretty experimental with my running shoes but I WILL NOT switch cycling shoe brands.  Sidis are my go-to brand… I can always find my odd size of 39 1/2 and I know they’re going to fit.  Other brands are sized differently, even from model to model.

I think I just rambled on about nothing for awhile in order to avoid doing real stuff.  That’s okay, that’s what Fridays are for.  I need to get it out of my system before I have to work on packing my house up for our move.  I’ve been randomly throwing stuff in boxes and considering that doing a great job.  Then I look around and realize we have a lot more junk than I realized.  Wish me luck!

Top 10: Bad Things that CAN be Good (for me) AND Vice-Versa

Recently, I was forced to admit that I was going to do something unsavory in the minds of people who like to do good things for their bodies.  I’ll tell you what it is in a minute.  There are a number of things that I like that wouldn’t be strategically added to a list of things that are “good for you.”  Yes, I know that excuses don’t make things better, but sometimes a person just has to forget about the rules and do what makes them feel good, right?  I am pretty good at making up my own rules and rationales for doing whatever I want.  Bottom line is this… I just like doing what I want and not having people tell me what to do!  Not that I don’t listen to what people say or consider little factiods they might throw out at me – I do.  Often times, I actually explore these points so I can prove them wrong.  If they are especially intriguing (say it with a Spanish accent, like the TV commercial for Kahlua Delicioso), I might actually take heed to whatever advice I’ve been given.  Playing devil’s advocate, there are a bunch of “good things” that turned out to be not so savory when I tried them.  I have composed two lists.  Remember, they are PERSONAL.  Don’t get offended if you don’t agree.  Remember, the world would be boring if we were all the same.

Top 10 BAD things that are GOOD in my mind:

10 – Snooki.  She does what she wants and doesn’t apologize for being ridiculously fabulous.

9 – Coke Zero.  It really DOES taste just like Coke!

8 – Eating ice cream directly from the container.  It’s better that way.  Don’t come to my house thinking you’re having ice cream.  Bring your own.

7 – WHITE BREAD!  Um… I can’t really make excuses for this one.  It’s just darn tasty.

6 – Pop culture.  Knowing which celebrities are in jail is more important that the real news anyway.

5 – Candy but only gummy candy or chocolate that is top-shelf chocolate.  There was a study that showed people who eat multi-colored candy are happier and more satiated.  Anddddd chocolate contains antioxidants.

4 – Gin and Tonics.   They don’t have any artificial color in them, so they make up for the gummy candy.

3 – Mac and cheese from a box.  It can be considered part of a 30-minute meal and we all know those are important for  busy, working Americans!

2 – Lucky Charms.  They are magically delicious.  Good things happen to you if you eat them regularly.

1 – TANNING.  This is what I got busted for doing.  It’s a serious pick-me-up in the winter.  I only go twice a week, and not for that long.  Sorry, sue me.

 

On the flip side…

Top 10 GOOD things that are BAD for me

10 – Nuts.  From a tree, jerk.  On the suggestion of a person who knows what they are talking about, I started incorporating them into my diet.  As a result, I gained a few lbs.  Never again!

9 – Dr. Phil… or Dr. Oz.  They’re both crazy.

8 – The Paleo Diet.  Along with the nuts, this made me gain said lbs.  I might add that I did lose this weight immediately after stopping this diet.

7 – Financial advisors.  I’ll spend my money however I want, even if that means on candy, gin, and tanning!!!!

6 – Limits.  Why limit yourself?  Do what you want.

5 – Political corectness.  Why is it fun to pretend that saying things in a certain way makes life better?  It is what it is, honey.

4 – Taking yourself seriously.  Life ceases to be fun when you do this.

3 – The news.  Ugh.  Doom and gloom!  Just read celebrity gossip instead.

2 – Day planners.  I never use them and wind up throwing them away.  Somehow, I just remember everything I’m supposed to do.

1 – Adulthood.  I’ll just stay 20-something, okay?

 

 

 

 

Winter Training

I haven’t really written much about athletic ventures lately.  Today will change that.  I’m not training for anything coming up too soon, but I’ve got some things on tap for the near future.  Here is what I am planning:

March:  NYC Half Marathon, and working on getting OUTSIDE on my bike

April: Tough Mudder on the 8th and Tour of the Battenkill the next day.  Ambitious, but they are both for fun.

I realized a few things this Winter… for one, the fact that it’s probably a bad idea to plan races/runs/strict training schedules when the weather is not usually the nicest.

I didn’t mention this, but a friend asked me to run a 50k in early January in New Jersey.  I thought it seemed do-able, and that the temperatures would probably be bearable.  Then I started thinking about training.  Okay, I might not have been able to do long trail runs, but road training along with riding the trainer (bike) would work, right?  I pursued said training plan in November.  It wasn’t bad at first.  I was getting in some long runs, 20 milers, and feeling good.  Then I realized that the 50k was going to take me about 6 hours to finish, and my 20-milers were DEFINITELY not 6 hours long.  Ultra training suggests using time, not distance, to train.  I adjusted and added time by riding the trainer.  This wasn’t bad, but I was really ONLY training and not doing anything else.  Not the most fun.

I started to REALLY re-consider the 50k after I did a 15-mile run that was supposed to be a 20-mile run, cut short because it was one of the first really cold, FREEZING days of the season.  And when I say freezing, I mean that it was in the 30s, which seems like a heat wave right about now.  After this most memorable run, I decided to re-evaluate.  I talked to Kyle, who was supportive of my NOT wanting to do the 50k.  He said I would be setting myself up for failure because the weather looked pretty brutal for January.  And… it was!  It didn’t take much for me to realize the decision not to do the run was the best.  However, I did get a little flack from my friend, who said it wouldn’t be cold because the running would warm me up.  I don’t like cold.  Once I start to get cold, it is very hard for me to warm up.  I was a little mad that she didn’t really get it that running in the cold was stupid for me.  Maybe not stupid for others, but stupid for me.  The week of the 50k, I would have still been able to make the call to actually do the run because it was within a decent taper period of when I decided I probably didn’t want to do it.  Buttttttt… the nice people from multiple weather stations said this:  “Hey morons… don’t go outside this weekend!  It’s freezing cold, it’s going to snow before the run, AND there is going to be a fancy-looking sheet of ice on the trails.  Stay inside and drink some hot cocoa instead (or wine.  or gin and tonics.)”  When the weather people start saying stuff like this, I listen hard.  So no run for me.  If you were wondering, the friend was still going to go and do the run.  I guess you have to pick your poison, right?

I’ve enjoyed this not training too hard for anything, and have been instead working on getting my body to like running and riding the trainer both.  It’s been working pretty well, so hopefully this Spring and Summer can consist of both running and cycling events in the same week without my legs feeling like someone loaded them up with rocks.  I don’t think a 50k will be in my future.  I’d rather have fun doing different things instead of spending so many hours training for one day of running.  Maybe I’ll change my mind, but for now, that’s where I stand.  Love me or hate me for it!  :)

No Snow Day

I have a bad habit of waking up in the middle of the night when I know it’s supposed to snow for a couple of reasons.  One is to check to see if it’s actually snowing.  Another is to check to see if I actually get a snow day so that I can re-set my alarm for later.  I thought for sure we’d have a snow delay at least today… and I was sadly WRONG.  :(  Howeverrrrrrrrrr… Snowmageddon Part Two is on its way.  Tuesday, in fact.  I’m not sure what my feelings are on SPT at this time.  The good is obviously a day off from work.  The bad is actually having to leave the house to shovel, and then NOT leaving the house for the rest of the day because it is unsafe to drive.  This leaves me with two options.  I can either learn to drive like an Ice Road Trucker OR I can do a world record-breaking shopping trip and stock up on anything I may want to leave the house to purchase.  Like movies.  Gummy bears.  Or ice cream.  Maybe some new running shoes to enhance my treadmill experience.  Why not?  Shopping is good, and crashing your car is not.  I’ll take option 2.  Wallet beware!

Back to Blogging

I’ve been on a blogging hiatus, and that’s okay.  It is cold and wintery, and when this happens I tend to be a bit sluggish.  Credit Jersey Shore Season 3, grad classes starting up again, and the excitement of buying a house (that’s right… I’m venturing further and further into adulthood, folks!) for my triumphant return.

Soooo since I love lists, here’s a quick update of what’s new:

– Winter Break = loss of brain function.  I needed that 5 weeks to be a vegetable so that I could understand why I hate being bored and having nothing to do.  I sat around contemplating a new topic for my Capstone for grad school which killed me.  I spent an entire semester researching a topic that I thought was perfect… now I can’t really use the topic.  More of an explanation later.

– I read the book “Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs,” which gave me better and more off-the-wall ideas for a Capstone project.  Thanks, Chuck Klosterman.  You truly are a genius and I will credit you fully in my work.

– Jersey Shore is back with another season, and I have adopted a new motto.  It is this: When you begin to take life too seriously, you need to ask yourself “What would Snooki do?”  Then proceed accordingly.  It’s sound advice, really.

– Thinking about taking two classes in the Spring semester was making me ill.  I worked really hard in the Fall and maintained my 4.0, but I’m not feeling one of the classes PLUS I need my sanity.  I have a feeling buying a house is going to take a lot out of me for a little bit, and I don’t want to compromise grades in school.  Plus, I want to actually enjoy the whole HGTV-themed experience of painting, re-doing a bathroom, finding money to pay for all the new home accessories I’ll wind up buying, and all that fun stuff.  I talked the decision out with a couple of people, and I’m definitely dropping the class.  I will, however, be keeping my Creative Writing class and maximizing my grad school experience by amazing my professor with my left-over English Comp skills.  I hope.

-Yep, the house thing.  Didn’t really plan to buy a house, but it just kind of happened.  I’m pretty excited about it!  As long as everything keeps going in the right direction, we will be living there on February 16.  Can.Not.Wait.

-I have discovered several things that I am now obsessed with.  They include Funfetti (Especially the batter… mostly the batter!), Coke Zero (I know, I know, artificially delicious.), and hot and sour soup.  I don’t claim to be sane.

Sooooooo hopefully I can keep my act together and roll with this blog thing without taking more than a couple of days off.  I missed writing.

Think snow, people!  I could use a few days off to pack my house up!

A holiday for the rest of us.

HAPPY FESTIVUS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I’m currently getting mentally prepared for the feats of strength.  This will happen tonight around 6:15 PM at the Velodrome’s bike room during the group training session.  Then I’ll head home for the airing of the grievances.  I’m hoping for a few Festivus miracles along the way.  Ahhhhhh Festivus.  Best holiday ever.

 

Battenkill Revenge?

FYI… Tour of the Battenkill 2011, I’m coming for you.  Really, I am.  Unless it rains, I will be there.

 

Wow, I Guess I Should Post Something

I realllllllllllllllllllllly meant to write about my Hawaii trail running experience sooner, but a couple of things got in the way.  I had/still have a bunch of stuff due for school.  Then there was the whole unpacking thing.  And laundry.  Then… we found out that somehow, our INDOOR cats all had fleas.  It’s been a definite reality check since we’ve gotten home!

Hawaii was amazing.  I highly recommend that everyone who hasn’t been there TRY to get there at some point.  I want to go back, but probably to a different island just for fun.  It’s a very low-stress, relaxed place.  There are beaches, palm trees,  coffee plantations, fresh tropical fruits… what’s not to love?  We spent an entire week on Oahu and we saw and did a ton of fun things.  We hiked Diamond Head, hiked in the jungle, trail ran on a ranch where LOST and Jurassic Park were filmed, snorkeled, visited Pearl Harbor, toured a coffee and chocolate plantation, went to the North Shore, saw some random jungle cats (yeah, they have stray cats in Hawaii.  they like me.), and drank coconut beer.  The weather was perfect – 80s every day, 60s in the evening.  I kept telling Kyle that I didn’t care if people were mad at me or hated me because I got to go somewhere cool because I NEVER get real vacations.  This is true.  Kyle is gone over the summer and trains so much over the winter that we don’t go anywhere.  So this was much needed and thoroughly enjoyed.  Hate away.  We have some great pictures, but of course they are not here yet.  Soon.  I’ll re-cap the race really quick instead.

Xterra World Championship 21K Trail Race:

The race was held on Kualoa Ranch, which is privately owned and not open to the public.  This is because many movies film here.  We literally watched Atlantis being filmed while running.  There are ATV tours of the ranch, but apparently they are really expensive.  The runners got a 13 mile tour of the place all for just $50.  Plus travel expenses.  Well worth it!  The ranch is beautiful.  There is a valley, which is where the start and expo were held, but some of the steepest mountains on the island can be found at Kualoa.  The ranch overlooks the Pacific, which made for an amazing view from the top of the mountain included in the race.

This was hands-down the hardest trail race I’ve done.  Harder than the 20-mile trail runs, harder than the Double Trouble 30k.  I’m a hills person, and there were points where the course was NOT runnable uphill.  There was a steep and narrow cattle chute of a descent on about a foot of thick mud.  I should also mention that if you slipped, you went over a cliff.  Thankfully there was a rope.  There were points when the heat was oppressive, and points when the cool breeze was perfect.  I finished the race in 2 hours and 27 minutes, but could have sliced 10 to 15 minutes off the time easily if I wouldn’t have had the killer side stitch that plagued me for the whole race.  It was bearable until the last 2 miles, when it kicked my butt.  I had to stop and walk a couple of times.  I’m going to chalk that one up to dehydration, hiking Diamond Head the day before, and then running after that hike.  It’s okay, because I got to see some of the most amazing sights ever.  I wound up finishing in the very middle of all of the racers.

Kyle, on the other hand, ran the 5k and SMOKED it.  He said he was going to casually run it just for fun, because he hasn’t really been running.  I guess the bike stuff helped, because he finished 4th OVERALL and was 2nd in his age group.  Uhhh… what?!?  Crazy.  He was pretty excited about that, and I think it motivated him to cross train more because he ran with me for the rest of the vacation.  We ran every day for 5-8 miles.  I’ll turn him into a duathlete one of these days.

I’ll add pictures and better descriptions of the scenery later.  Back to reality and freezing cold Pennsylvania.  By the way, I went running this morning in the teenage temperatures.  It wasn’t awful, but I did FINALLY buy a treadmill after that wake up call.  Merry Christmas to me!

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