a Bri Gaal's Blog: January 2009

Friday, January 30, 2009

Ugliest Feet Ever

This morning, a podiatrist told me I needed to stop biking for two weeks because of a painful and inflamed toe.

I stared at him.

He said not to worry, I could still run and could get my exercise fix that way.

I continued to stare at him.

But in another two weeks if it hasn't healed, I would need to stop running for two weeks.

I blinked.

It's okay! He says, you can just hit the pool if that happens and you can swim for exercise!

He has no idea.

I am still planning on biking and running and swimming. But I'll buy new bike shoes that will hopefully take the pressure off of my angry red swollen toe.

I hate my feet.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Where Did The Thorpedo Go?

Before Michael Phelps there was The Thorpedo - a hot* little Aussie who swam faster than a fish. I think he might want to get back in that pool! Yikes!



*nice looking but not as good as my marty

Sunday, January 25, 2009

To Ride or Run

The debate at the end of the week revolved around riding or running on Saturday morning. It was going to be much warmer on Saturday than Sunday, but there was a chance of showers -- 30% which grew to 40%. Running can be done in almost anything, but riding in the rain isn't too much fun. Buuuut, I would rather ride in warm than cold (high on Sunday only 39 degrees).

I turned the weather on Saturday morning and the weather lady assured me that there would only be a few very light sprinkles over the area, but only in some spots. That sounded pretty promising to me so off we rode.

Weather lady sucks. There was no light sprinkle, it was light rain, which becomes annoying quickly while on your bike. And few isn't exactly the word I would've used when it lasted the better part of two hours. With the melted snow, grime, dirt and salt everywhere, we came off the bike dirtier than ever. Bikes were immediately cleaned and lubed up. A couple of bright spots were the fact that I was dressed appropriately so never got cold, and I felt like my bike fitness has finally decided to make an appearance.

In the afternoon I hit Old Navy where they were having awesome sales (everything I got was $5!). Then Marty and I had date night :)

Off to run in a bit now.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Wasting Time on the Internet

Marty and I Obamacized ourselves. Be careful if you do this - it is a time-suck, and before you know it an hour has gone by.

The snow is still here but I won't bore you with anymore pictures or video (oh yeah, I have a ton more). Tomorrow it will be 50 or something so it will all melt away, and close to 60 on Saturday so that will be a good day for a bike ride. It really is pretty to see everything blanketed in white, but I can see how after awhile it would get really annoying. Work was on a two hour delay this morning, so Marty and I went for a run. First thing walking down our steep driveway I slip on ice. We had to be real careful and our workout turned out to be not as good as it should've been but at least we got something in.

I waited until the last possible minute to drive into work, but it turned out our neighborhood was the worst for ice and once I got on the main roads everything was fine. The pool was also delayed so no Master's for us this morning. Tassie ran in to wake us up at 5:30 anyways, I swear she thought we were late or something. The two additional hours of sleep was nice, but I really would've rather a good hard swim workout.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Snow, snow and more snow!

I was a little premature in posting the last video of it snowing, but don't you worry because I have TONS of video now! Yesterday they were predicting possibly 4-6" of snow for today, but everyone is always a bit wary because it happens a lot that the weather people will say it's going to snow and then it never does. And by 10:00 pm last night I was starting to get mighty disappointed when it was just raining and the temperature was still 40-something degrees. I even dreamt that it didn't snow and I had to go into work and I was VERY bummed about it (ah, it is a normal workday so I don't know why I was so upset in my dream). But when I got up it had snowed a lot over night and it was still coming down. And even now at 1:30 it's still snowing! I measured the amount on my car around 11 this morning and it was already at 4"!

Alisha and Joe drove to our house for a run because there was no way Marty or I were going to attempt to drive (and they grew up in the mountains so they're fine with it). I know people up north wonder why we shut down at a little snow, but the city is not really equipped with everything you need and people don't know how to drive in it (like me!) Anyways, we ran to Bond Park where there were approximately 400 families sledding down the big hill. It was very fun to run out there and see the kids racing down the hill - this is such a rare thing for us here. I'm really sorry to some of you who are like, my god these people in the south are SO ANNOYING when a little snow comes, we have snow all the time, get over yourself!...I really can't help it, please forgive me :) Below are a bunch of pictures and videos!

Marty and Tassie out front in the morning:

We smartly kept one car down in the street since our driveway is so steep. Not that we're planning on using it, but you never know.

Woops, hope I don't need to pump my tires today!

Alisha and I before the run. Plastic bags around my socks inside the shoes helped keep the feet nice and dry and warm.

One of the trails we usually run on in Bond Park:

"Working from home" :)

Marty and Alisha trudging through the snow:

It came out blurry, but it says 4 inches!

Here's a little video of Tassie having fun with her ball (the same one she won't give to me):


Sledding action at Bond Park during our run:


A little bit more sledding (and wipeouts):


Sunday, January 18, 2009

Weekend Update - Our Coldest Yet!

Yesterday afternoon Marty and I took Tassie for a walk around our neighborhood lake. We were so surprised to see that part of it had frozen over! Of the 2 years we have lived in NC, I think this has been the coldest weekend. I don't know if Marty and I are ever going to get used to things like frozen lakes and the occasional snowfall - we have too much Florida in us. So we proceeded to take all sorts of pictures of the lake with various objects on the frozen ice (our feet, rocks and pine cones, a glass of beer - don't ask). This was after stopping earlier in the day mid-run to inspect the frozen mud...frozen mud!!

This morning we had about 1 minute of snowfall, so I ran and grabbed the camera to document it. The video also displays Tassie proving that just because she may be half retriever, does not necessarily mean she will give you the ball she just brought back. For your viewing enjoyment :)


I just got off the trainer because it's been a cold light drizzle all morning. I rented Baby Mama on the tv - funny movie and great one to pass the time (meaning not much thinking going on during this).

Friday, January 16, 2009

Cold Day

It is cold here in NC, much like the rest of the country. We're colder than some and not even close to as cold as others - and we would never willingly live in those colder places! I'm very glad our car doesn't tell us the temperature because I'm not sure I would have wanted to know this morning as we drove to Masters. We had a great group there and a lot of people joined us for breakfast afterwards.

I'm working from home today which is nice, and I can get a lot of things done without anyone bothering me. I'm huddled upstairs since our downstairs is quite chilly and probably won't warm up too much over the course of the day. Blame it on old doors and cheap windows - it is quite drafty down there. Doesn't seem to bother Tassie, who now has her full winter coat on. She's even sleeping downstairs now which tells me it's a tad bit too warm for her upstairs with us at night.

Training has been light this week, and thanks to Marit for the comment reassuring me that I wasn't being too wimpy after my spill on the bike, also known as "Jerry ran me off the road and no it had nothing to do with the fact I was talking too much and not paying attention" ;) I still can't sleep on my left side because of the hip, but I think I might get lucky tonight. I'm very much a side sleeper so this has been problematic for me getting good sleep (not to mention my predisposition for not being able to fall asleep very easily. Marty says I worry too much. I know!)

Tomorrow we'll probably get a run in at Umstead but I'm not committing to riding outdoors just yet this weekend. Beth runs when it's 2 degrees so I don't know what I'm complaining about.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Let Them Eat Cake!

My sister, Shana, is getting married in Chapel Hill in July. Her fiance lives in Virginia Beach and couldn't make it down this weekend for the cake deciding and tasting so guess who got to go with her?


She had gotten recommendations from several people to use Cinda and she was excellent. We sampled 4 different cakes and then got to take all the leftover's home which means I'll be eating cake for a few days. I should probably take it into work so people can help me (Marty is NOT a sweets eater). Anyways, we tried yellow cake with vanilla frosting, carrot cake, red velvet, and chocolate with peanut butter filling. They were all delicious and I really think cake tasting should be a yearly or monthly thing. It was neat to talk about the design, see pictures of elaborate cakes and then finish with the tastings.

Day 2 after bike crash hurts more than day 1 did. My knee is still swollen and oozy and I have a nice bruise developing on my hip (which definitely hurts the most). I also discovered another big bruise on my other leg that most have hit some part of my bike when I fell. I skipped swimming this morning because I was pretty stiff and sore and then just decided to take the entire day off. I hope I'm not being too wimpy about this. I plan on riding the trainer tomorrow and probably will lift at work.

The cross bike is a no-go. It turns out we don't get the discount we thought we could at IOS because Marty doesn't really work too many hours a week. For something like a bike there are stricter policies with discounts (understandable).

And later this week it is going to be FREEZING here! Right now on Friday the high is only supposed to be 32! Helloooo winter.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

First Crash

I have finally joined the club? I had my first bike crash today!

2.5 hours easy was the plan. We started with a small group at IOS and people peeled away as necessary because of time commitments and wanting to do different routes. It ended up being me, Marty, Dan and Jerry and we were having a nice time on the bike. Marty started to bonk a bit and was lagging behind for awhile. I was riding on the inside of Jerry and wasn't paying attention (I was talking too much) and ran off the shoulder. If it hadn't been so rainy here recently I probably would've been fine, but the clay was mud and I slipped immediately when I tried to get back on the road. Hit Jerry's back wheel (and luckily didn't take him down with me) and then overcorrected again only to smack on the pavement. I scurried up quickly to get out of traffic and was very embarrassed! Jerry and Dan were very nice and made sure I was okay, which I was. Falling in the winter is much safer than the summer - I took the brunt of the fall on my left hip, which had 3 layers covering it so I didn't even brake the skin (might have a bruise later on), and skinned my knee. The unfortunate part of that was I now have a nice hole in my new leg warmers (2nd time wearing them). It's also a bit swollen and looks like a small egg on the side of my knee. My ego hurts the most for being such a fred on the bike!

Marty didn't see any of it and just thought we were waiting for him on the side of the road when he rode up. And of course, the most important -- bike seems fine!!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Another Clinic

We had another great clinic at TAC this morning - good group of participants, lots of questions and a fun time (at least I hope everyone had a fun time!) Base training is in full swing and I'm doing pretty good. Definitely sore right now but hopefully that will subside after another week or so of being 'back at it.' Now I need to get outside and do my long run, something I would've much rather have done this morning, but short of me getting up before 5am (which I'm NOT doing on a Saturday!) my only option is to do it now. Tonight we're meeting friends for dinner and I'm very excited because I haven't seen any of them for over a month and they are all fun people to be with.

So about the bike - I'm thinking I'm probably not going to get it even though the unanimous vote from you all was GET THE BIKE! I didn't realize that we would have to order it and then I have no idea how long it will take to get here...the point of me getting a cross bike was to ride more outside in the winter but if it doesn't get here until the spring, well then, there goes the point. :( :(

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

No Lifting for Me

Plans of lifting at work yesterday were spoiled when I realized, standing in the locker room half undressed, that I had forgotten shorts. ARGHH. This was made more painful by the fact that I had traipsed across campus in the cold rain. I briefly (very briefly I might add) thought about lifting in my work clothes. I was after all, wearing jeans and had a sports bra, t-shirt and sneakers, but did not want to be one of THOSE people. I see them occasionally – they are usually upper management and they waltz into the weight room and do some bench press and a few other machines before waltzing out. Seems odd to me. Even odder is the one guy I’ve seen hop on the stationary bike in work clothes (and these are not jeans). To each his own – hope they don’t have any meetings in close quarters after that.

Marty is tempting me with saying maybe we can buy me a cross bike. We can get a good deal at Inside Out, but I waffle between wanting it and wanting to save all the money we can. What to do, what to do.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Enough travel!

I'm sitting in the passenger seat of our car somewhere in the middle of Georgia while we make our way back to North Carolina. I don't have internet access but figured this would be a good time to type up a blog catch-up post from the past few days.

I left a very quiet work day on Wednesday just after lunch to head to the airport so I could fly down to Orlando. I had a layover in Charlotte - so the quick flight from Raleigh to Charlotte was on a small commuter jet. It was VERY windy that day, so we bumped our way up to cruising altitude, stayed there for like 1 minute, and then bumped our way down to Charlotte. Not fun. I know I have flown all over the world but I have never gotten used to turbulence. I got into Orlando a little late, but Marty hit horrible traffic on I-95 so our friend Dan ended up picking me up. He threw a fun party (of course). It was nice to see old friends, especially one of my very oldest friends Katy Rad. We had a lot of fun.

The next day we saw Marty's family, I took a much needed nap, we went for a short half-hearted run and then had a low-key dinner with Dan. We all needed to recharge from the night before!

Friday was busy - had breaky at our favorite greasy spoon near our old condo, then we drove to UCF to do a run. We hadn't been there since they built the new stadium and WOW it looks different! What a fun college to live on campus now! Luckily, they still left some of the trails we used to run on, something I was worried about would be all gone from all the new building that had gone on. These trails are the place where Marty and I had our first date, 8.5 years ago! In the rain no less. I figured if this guy liked me in running clothes soaking wet and disgusting we may have something here :) Next up we met one of my athletes for lunch, then off to Sanford so Marty could give a swim lesson, and then to Ormond Beach to stay with another friend for the next two days.

We had fun in Ormond - went for a gorgeous bike ride on Saturday morning through Tomoka State Park and down A1A - watching the beautiful calm Atlantic to our left. Then we went out on the boat and then to an Oyster Roast. It was a busy weekend filled with bad (good) food, beer and not great sleep.

So I'm pretty ready to just hunker down and get back on a normal schedule of training, working and eating better. December has been pretty much a prep phase training-wise and I'm definitely looking forward to building that base back up with more consistent training. Races loom in the distance!

And 2008? Eh, I'm glad it's gone. Not one of my favorite years for sure for many different reasons and although I know each day is really a new slate to work with, it's nice to have the number change and really wipe it clean. I'm looking forward to making this year MUCH better than the last and I have many ideas on how I'm going to do that.