Weekend exploits

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This was an action-packed weekend, which I would like to sum up with a series of pictures. We kicked it off on Friday evening with a trip to Costco with M, where we met this guy:

We finished up our evening by cashing in the last of T’s gift certificates from the Adventure Run for some free pizza. Now, onto Saturday, the 20 mile run:

That’s really all that needs to be said about that. (Actually, it wasn’t nearly as bad as I was expecting, save for some super terrible side and stomach cramps for the last few miles. That sucked.) While I was running for a crazy long time, T was logging some overtime helping the grocery department of his employer unload/inventory some of their back-log of samples. Here’s what he brought home:

But he made the mistake of telling me that the guy he’d been working for had expressed his disappointment that he hadn’t taken more and told him he was welcome to come back tomorrow. (Which meant that I could go back too!)

Which brings us to Sunday. On our way over to T’s company, we stopped at Peets to grab some coffee. Where I saw this:

Sigh.

Despite T showing me pictures, I was unprepared for how much stuff was in the conference room. There was a huge table covered in stuff. There was stuff under the table. There was stuff piled on the floor next to the table. It was insane. I had a great time picking out all sorts of crazy stuff. There were tons of weird healthy products that I curious about, (but not enough to actually pay money for.)

Combined with the stuff T brought home yesterday, here’s what I needed to find a place for in our kitchen:

I spent the remainder of the day rearranging our kitchen to accommodate all of our loot. We now have a little pantry section of our laundry closet and some very organized cupboards. And best of all, we’re good for vegan crackers for quite some time… ;-P

 

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Under the sea

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Grumpy and stir-crazy from a week spent trapped in my apartment followed by a slushy craptacular 15 mile run on Saturday, I was ready for a fun outing. So, when M mentioned that they were going to the Seattle Aquarium to see the baby sea otter, I shamelessly invited T & I along.

You gotta love the aquarium, you walk into a lobby with a whole wall of fish:

There was a super-gross octopus:

And a neat plastic arch with jellyfish under rotating colored lights that were oddly mesmerizing:

Oooooh… now they’re red…

But why are we wasting time here, when there’s a baby sea otter? Baby sea otter! We headed over to the section where they were. Pausing briefly to take a picture of chilly T:

And then we got to the area where the sea otters were, crowded with people “oohing” and “aahing” at this:

That’s right, it’s a little ball of fluff, riding along on his mama’s tummy. (the otter in the back is Grandma.) Basically Mama Otter was swimming around the tank with baby on her belly. And every time she passed by the glass, we all would exclaim at how cute they were. Look at that little thing!

Say it with me now, “awwwwww… ”

It was kind of ridiculous. After all of that cuteness, we recovered by looking at some cool fish. I can’t believe how colorful some of the sea life is. (I mean, some places. I’m pretty sure that the sea life here in Seattle is nowhere near this interesting.)

I really loved this guy. Look at his nose!

It was a fun outing. Even after M made me touch a yucky sea anemone in the touch tank. (Gross.) Should you find yourself in Seattle with a couple of hours to kill, I highly recommend it.

Snow noes!

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All week, we’d been hearing weather reports about some crazy epic snowstorm with predictions of 12 inches of snow and what-have-you. Even with our snowy adventures this weekend, I didn’t actually believe anything was going to come of it. Generally speaking, the rule of thumb for predicting Seattle weather seems to be: the larger the hype about the storm, the less likely it is to actually happen. So, I was quite surprised to wake up to a fair amount of snow Wednesday morning. Luckily, I could work from home, so I didn’t have to commute in this:

I must say, I do enjoy a snow day. Especially one that I can enjoy from the comforts of my couch. T couldn’t commute in to work, so he was home and it was a nice little day at home. I build a roaring fire and we had a nice glass of wine in front of it.

Even the creatures relaxed in front of the fire:

On Thursday, it was supposed to start raining, so I was looking forward to the snow departing. Unfortunately, it decided to snow all day long instead. By this point, I was ready for the snow to depart so I wouldn’t have to work from home for a fourth day in a row. I was getting major cabin fever. I decided to walk down to the gym, only to have them close it early (right after I’d changed into running clothes and walked out of the locker room. Jerks!)

By Friday, I was completely over the snow and being stuck in my apartment. Work productivity plummeted and I amused myself by taking pictures of the birds in the tree in front of my house with my phone:

I think Wally summed up my feelings of Snow Day #3 far better than words can express:

At least it rained all day Friday, melting most of the snow on the road, so T and I were able to flee the house for a movie. It was nice to get out of the house and restore a little sanity. I need all the help I can get…

A thin line

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When I got up on Saturday morning, I was feeling daunted by the 20 mile run that I had in front of me. Little did I know. It was just M & I, as T is dealing with a possible hernia/mystery hip pain. We headed out bright and early on Saturday morning to Log Boom Park at the top of Lake Washington, to run in the opposite direction as our 18 miler. It was freezing cold, but that didn’t seem to be stopping the huge group of cyclists that were congregating in the parking log. (It’s so hard to be active here.)

M headed out first, so that she could run an easier pace for the first part of the run. I stretched and headed out after her, a little later than I’d meant to. Once I started moving, the cold stopped being an issue and I settled in for a long day of running. It started to drizzle about half an hour in, which wasn’t so great but I figured it would stop eventually. There were tons of mountain bikers out on the path for some reason, so there was a “Well, we’re all in this together” sort of vibe. I saw M up ahead in the distance and figured I’d catch up to her somewhere between the 8 and 10 mile mark. I actually caught up to her just after she hit the turnaround point and made a “WTF” gesture with my arms at the rain and said “Dude!” which made her laugh. (Again, little did I know that I’d miss that soggy drizzle… )

Half a mile later, the hail started and it actually just made me laugh out loud. With nine and half miles to get back to the car, it was just ridiculous. The hail got harder and there was nothing to do but keep running. I kept picturing a “Bad-ass meter” and the needle was moving into the red. Then the snow started to fall. Hard. It was starting to stick to the path and my already wet shoes became soaked. My poor wet gloves were getting covered in snow as were the fronts of my legs. M must have hit the afterburners after I’d seen her because she was no where to be seen. (At this point the needle on the bad-ass meter broke off and we had to use the “Crazy person meter”.)

There was nothing to be done but keep running. I reached a sort of equilibrium where the effort of running kept me from being too cold. Although I did start to wonder just how long one could run with soaking wet hands and feet in heavy snow before frostbite was a concern. Finally, somewhere around the 13 mile mark, M was waiting under an overpass for me, wanting to know what I thought we should do and with the brilliant idea of calling a cab. Luckily, we were pretty close to a brewery/restaurant, so we headed for that. (Which also turned out to be where the mountain bike event was as well.)

It took us quite a while to stop violently shivering. We ordered coffee and soup which I wanted to pour over my hands. While we waited for our cab, we camped out next to their roaring fireplace.

The fire helped warm us up a lot, but we were still soaking wet. In the cab on the way back to the car, there was still tons of snow falling, but it stopped by the time we got there. Thankfully, the roads up by the car were totally fine and by the time we got back to Ballard the sun was actually shining. (This didn’t help my mood too much.) I was feeling very upset about our unsuccessful 20 miler and spent the rest of the day sulking in the tub and then taking a nap, instead of being industrious like M and running the last 7 miles of it. (Good job, M!)

The next morning, I headed out to finish up my run. It had been snowing a little bit when I left the house and of course it started snowing harder when I actually started running. Luckily, I was wearing warmer clothes that were dry, which made a huge difference. Here’s what the path looked like as I started the run:

And here’s what it looked like three miles later:

I’d originally planned to run 10 miles, but that would have necessitated another two miles from this point, so I decided that 8 miles was plenty. Before heading back, I snapped a quick self-portrait:

So, apparently I was destined to run the rest of that 20 miler in the snow, no matter what. 🙂 I know that in the great scheme of training, missing one 20 miler isn’t the end of the world. But it does make me feel a bit more unsettled in my preparation than I had before, so hopefully we’ll be able to get through the next month without any more major setbacks.