M’s birthday weekend extravaganza- day two

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As part of M’s birthday weekend extravaganza, both Mr. & Mrs. Cyclone were in town. (Mr. Cyclone is usually at Law School at UC Davis, so it’s always nice to see him.) They, being the awesome folks they are, brought M. a cupcake from the Erotic Bakery. I will spare you any close up shots of the cupcake, but couldn’t resist posting these shots of Mrs. Cyclone & M. with the dirty cupcake (sensitive viewers should pretend that it’s a finger… )

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The dirty party hats were also from the Cyclones.

After traumatizing M. with the terrible taste of marzipan, we headed off to an yummy Indian restaurant in Ballard to meet more of M. & J’s friends. We brought along the party hats, but elected not to wear them in the presence of the children that were in the restaurant. All in all, it was a really enjoyable evening.

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Today’s ride is brought to you by “oh come on!”

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Today I decided to do my first solo outdoor ride. I had a two hour ride on my agenda, so my plan was to ride the Burke-Gilman for an hour out and then head back. The weather report had said it was supposed to be sunny, but of course there were dark gray clouds on the horizon when I left. I wore all of my rain gear just in case, and was ready to turn around if it didn’t look like it was going to get any better.

Naturally, it took me a little while to navigate out of Queen Anne and onto the Burke Gilman, but I figured it out pretty fast and only had to ride my bike up one needless steep hill. (Thank goodness to all of that weight training, or I’d have never made it up that bad boy… ) Once I hit the trail, the weather started to get sunny and warm and before long I had to pull over to shed my arm-warmers and hat, which is never a bad thing.

Because of the nice weather, I was expecting there to be tons of people on the path, but it was really not too bad. If you aren’t familiar with the Burke Gilman and are ever in the Seattle area, I highly recommend it, it’s this ridiculously long bike/pedestrian path, that goes from Ballard all the way up around Lake Washington. There are some places where it crosses streets and you have to stop and look for traffic, but there are long stretches through parkland, along the lake that are really beautiful. I turned around at a park along the trail, and tried to take a picture with my phone, but it really did not do it justice, so I will spare you the awful spectacle of those photos. Suffice it to say, it was breathtaking and next time, I’ll bring my camera along with me!

And since most of my long rides are with T. and/or some of the roadie guys from work, I had the rarefied luxury of being able to go at my own pace. I went fast when I felt good, slow when I didn’t, stopped if I needed to, without having to worry about anyone else. It was heaven!

The only part that wasn’t so fantastic, was the long climb up 2nd Ave. N. to get back onto Queen Anne. It’s not steep, but it’s long and relentless. It’s a good climb to practice on though, because you have to just relax and take it easy or you’ll never make it. Luckily, I’d called ahead to have T. & M. meet me at the Jamba Juice, so I had sufficient motivation.

All in all, a really nice training ride.

M’s birthday weekend extravaganza- day one

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This weekend, my friend M. turns 30. I know, how can someone be so old and still be alive, right? (Hee hee!) Since M. is considerably younger than me, I was delighted to be able to tease her with even more reckless abandon than usual, so I bought her a funny birthday card:

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I’m paraphrasing, but the front of the card said “I would never buy you one of those old lady floppy boob cards” and inside said “I’m sure you see enough of that as it is.” Ahhhh, birthdays — where you can be randomly mean through greeting cards and it makes people laugh.

The longest seven mile run ever…

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This morning I had a long run on my schedule, so I decided I wanted to do a seven-miler. I plot a course based on “well, it’s about a mile to the loop that I run at lunch, and that’s about three miles, so if I add another two miles on this other path and then run home, that will be seven.” Really scientific, right?

So I told T. where I’d be going, how long I expected it to take me and set off. As I’ve said before, I start every run wanting to quit, so I was working hard on not psyching myself out because this was a longer run than usual. (I’ve done a few 7 milers, but not a lot of them.) I gave myself little benchmarks where I would be “allowed” to walk – red lights, certain intersections, the turn around point on “the extra 2 miles” part of the path, etc. At what I approximated to be the five mile point, the wheels started coming off. I was taking much longer than I’d expected and by my calculations, I was going to get back much later than anticipated and thus be late for work, so I called T. to have him pick me up about a mile from home, saving me that section of the run and getting me home sooner. T. doesn’t answer his phone, so I leave him voicemail with the plan, figuring he’s just upstairs or away from the phone and keep plugging along.

I get to the Hawthorne Bridge, around what I’m guessing is mile six and take my phone out to see if T. has called back. He hasn’t, so I try him again. Voicemail again. This time, I don’t leave a message, but hope he’s on his way to meet me. I cross the bridge, now taking walk breaks and feeling generally down on myself, but using T. as my motivation, manage to finish running across the bridge and to the meeting point. I arrive at the meeting point and T. is not there. I call again and get voicemail AGAIN.

Now the wheels come fully off. Run is over. Walking (and crying) commence. Melodramatic thoughts start up. (Really, I could be dead in a ditch, right? What if it were an emergency? and so on… ) I make my way home, working myself up into a nice state of anger and self-pity, because after all, I still couldn’t manage to run seven miles, even without all of the T. drama. So, I open the door and there’s T, cleaning up the apartment. He takes one look at my face and sensing that something bad is about to happen, asks “What’s wrong?” I unleash my fury on him, he explains that he still had the volume turned down on the phone from his office and my anger is quickly deflated.

So when I get to work, I decide to check my actual run mileage on Gmaps pedometer. It turns out that I ran 8.5 miles and that all of that “about this” and “approximately that” had in fact added nearly 2 and a half miles more to my route. So, I went from feeling like crap to feeling like a total stud. I’ve been debating doing the Shamrock Run’s 15K option this year (as opposed to the 8K I’ve done the past two years) and now I’m going to go for it.

If only I could trick myself into thinking it was only seven miles…