Flying into Cape Town was super cool! Our pilot took us out over the ocean, so we got great views of many of the sites that I’ve read about: Table Mountain, Lion’s Head, and Robbin Island. I don’t think I’ve ever had such a great view of a city when landing.
Flying into Cape Town was super cool! Our pilot took us out over the ocean, so we got great views of many of the sites that I’ve read about: Table Mountain, Lion’s Head, and Robbin Island. I don’t think I’ve ever had such a great view of a city when landing. Starting out …View full post
I am taking the world’s most round-about way to Capetown, which means the entire journey will take me around 40 hours by the time it’s all finished. To top it off, I left the day before my birthday, and will land the day after my birthday. Not exactly how I wanted to spend my birthday! …View full post
Biking was hard today. I’m not sure if my legs are just tired after a full week of biking every day, or if the wind made things bad for me. Nevertheless, we had a beautiful ride, and the sun came out occasionally. We really lucked out for lunch today. Our bicycle path took us through …View full post
I’m really excited for some upcoming races, and I’ve got a discount code to help you out, if you’d like to join me at the events! The Snohomish Running Company is a little locally owned race events company, and they are offering a 10% discount for all three of their 2015 Events: The Everett Half …View full post
Facts about me: 1. I hate showering. 2. I love singing. So when Toilet Tree Products approached me and asked if I would mind reviewing some of their products, I looked through the list and picked out their STORMp3 player. – It allows you to listen to music in the shower. This seemed like the …View full post
I am taking the world’s most round-about way to Capetown, which means the entire journey will take me around 40 hours by the time it’s all finished. To top it off, I left the day before my birthday, and will land the day after my birthday. Not exactly how I wanted to spend my birthday!
Biking was hard today. I’m not sure if my legs are just tired after a full week of biking every day, or if the wind made things bad for me. Nevertheless, we had a beautiful ride, and the sun came out occasionally.
We really lucked out for lunch today. Our bicycle path took us through a park in Kreuzlingen, Switzerland. It was around noon, and we were hungry, but we just had to guess where a grocery store might be. We guessed correctly, and quickly found a Spar! We then went back to the park where we had left the bike path, and I suggested that we go deeper into the park to get closer to the lake. We did so, and my goodness! It was the most beautiful park that I have ever seen! There were beautiful old buildings, wildflowers, wildlife (frogs and a friendly duck), a boardwalk, a petting zoo, and of course, views across Bodensee. We had a lovely picnic lunch there.
Soon enough, we were back in Konstanz. We went to my favorite gelato shop, and the guy there recognized us right away, and began speaking to us in English. I am not sure if a holiday should be considered a raging success or an utter failure when the dessert-man is your best acquaintance.
Out hotel has a kitchenette, so we were able to make a delicious meal of spaetzle and gnocchi, fresh fruit, and Orvieto wine. I spent two weeks in the beautiful town of Orvieto, Italy a few years ago, and hoped that I’d be able to find some Orvieto wine on this trip. I did….for €2. (In case you’re wondering, the bottled water that they insist on serving me with my meal in restaurants is typically €3-4, so I felt particularly happy about this).
After we ate our fantastic hotel-made meal, we headed out to a bar on the waterfront, and enjoyed some bier and pretzels.
Countries Visited Today: 1, Full-day in Germany! ***
Kilometers Biked Today: 30 ***
Total Kilometers Biked for the Trip: 162 ***
I’m really excited for some upcoming races, and I’ve got a discount code to help you out, if you’d like to join me at the events!
The Snohomish Running Company is a little locally owned race events company, and they are offering a 10% discount for all three of their 2015 Events: The Everett Half Marathon or 10k (April 12), the Snohomish Women’s Run (May 17), and the Snohomish River Run (October 11).
Last year, I ran the Snohomish River Run, and it was a great event! Not only was it super convenient (easy to get to, free parking, etc), but it is the perfect event to get a personal record on, because it is relatively flat, and happens during the time of year when the weather is perfect for running. The other two events are new to me, but because of my past experience with this race company, I have a lot of confidence that they will be great events. The Everette Half/10k runs along the waterfront, so I anticipate that it will be a beautiful course. The Snohomish Women’s Half/10k has a similar course to the fast and flat Snohomish River Run, so it looks really good for a PR. In addition, this year they’ve added a girl’s run for girls 12 and under. I love inspiring kids to be active and enjoy life!
Please add one of these races to your race calendar this year! Remember to use code “RUNFUNDONE” to save 10%!
I am being compensated for referrals to these races. However, all opinions are my own!
Facts about me:
1. I hate showering.
2. I love singing.
So when Toilet Tree Products approached me and asked if I would mind reviewing some of their products, I looked through the list and picked out their STORMp3 player. – It allows you to listen to music in the shower.
This seemed like the perfect product for me for several reasons: 1) It could make a menial task (showering) more enjoyable. 2) The acoustics in the shower are great, so it really is one of the best places to have music! 3) My voice sounds best after a workout, so now I could sing away during my after-workout shower!
So, my StormMP3 player arrived. Awesome! I was ready!
I broke into the packaging, and was all ready to start blasting some music, when I discovered…Um…it’s a legitimate MP3 player. NOT a blue tooth speaker.
This was a problem for many reasons. I don’t really listen to downloaded MP3s…ever. With services like Pandora available, I really haven’t seen any need to pay for MP3s…so I haven’t paid for MP3s for years.
In actuality, I didn’t even have any MP3s on my computer, other than one Pentatonix song that they offered for free.
Suddenly this STORMp3 player was not quite so exciting.
I DO have some MP3s on my old computer – the cracked one that weighs 10 pounds with the screen that suddenly goes black for no apparent reason. But getting that old thing out and trying to make it work seemed exhausting. So…the MP3 player sat on a shelf for months.
Finally, this past weekend, I got the STORMp3 player out, and I also got out that old cracked computer with the suddenly-blacked screen.
I was a bit nervous that I wouldn’t be able to figure out how to load songs onto the player. I was scared it would be complicated. I found that it was actually super, super easy. I just dragged songs from iTunes into the STORMp3 player folder that appeared when I plugged the player into my computer. So easy.
I sorted through my iTunes library, and picked out songs that were great for singing along with. It took me about 10 minutes.
Toilet Tree Products says that you can fit 500 songs on the player. Can you imagine? How many showers would it take to get through 500 songs?
I later tried the STORMp3 in the shower – awesome! Suddenly I was singing my little heart out. And I discovered a new hobby – SHOWER DANCING! It’s even more fun than shower singing, guys.
So here’s what I would say: The STORMp3 is a pretty fun product, BUT please know that it is an MP3 player that you must load songs onto, NOT a bluetooth speaker. Loading songs on is really, really simple. Once they’re loaded, you can sing and dance your heart out while cleaning your bod!
Toilet Tree Products gave me one STORMp3 to review. I was not compensated in any other way for this post.
Well, hi there! I haven’t posted for a little while, because I’ve been super busy. So today’s post will just be a little update on some things.
2015 has been a fabulous year so far! There are a few things that have made me feel really good about 2015, and here they are:
1. Trips. It’s only been 6 weeks since January 1st, but I’ve had a bit of traveling. My parents came to visit for a week. We went to Leavenworth, which is a little Bavarian-themed town here in Washington State. I also went to Reno for a work conference. I know that Reno doesn’t sound exciting, but it was really, really nice to see the sun every day!
2. Exercise. Ever since I moved to Washington, I’ve struggled to exercise regularly during the winter. It is cold, dark, gloomy and wet in the winter, and I just don’t feel like getting outside. This year, the Ragnar Relay Series had a 30 day training challenge in January, and I decided to do it. Basically the challenge was to exercise for 30 days straight. I took the challenge seriously, and it made my year start off wonderfully. Instead of getting lazier after ringing in the new year like I usually do, I’ve been moving every day! It’s helped me to feel really good!
3. Weather. You know how I mentioned how cold, dark, gloomy, and wet our winters are here? Well…it’s been a really mild winter, which has been really helpful for helping me feel awesome!
So, overall, things have been going really well. However, I’ve also been busy with all of the above, plus working on the house and getting ready for Africa.
I’ll try to get back onto the blog-o-sphere every once in awhile!
After my not-so-great experience at the Lake Chelan Marathon this year, I decided that I was done with marathoning – at least for a little while.
I thought about making 2015 the year of the half-marathon PR, but even that didn’t quite inspire me.
I thought about not really racing much, and just enjoying being active.
And then…a race came along that was too spectacular to ignore.
It will be MY race of 2015!
So here’s the deal: Every year, at some point I read something about the Ski to Sea race, which is a multi-event relay race held here in Washington, where teams snowboard, cross country ski, run, paddle, and bike their little hearts out. Every time I hear about this race, I get super excited because I’m like, “A race where I can run AND snowboard??? My two favorite sports in life! I’m in!”
And then every year, I get super disappointed when I realize that the race organizers do not allow any athletes compete in more than one leg of the race. So…you pay premium pricing for a single event. Um, lame. Can you imagine if you’re a snowboarder? Paying upwards of $50 for ONE run down a mountain in sticky spring conditions? I’m OUT.
So every year, I get excited, thinking that I’ll run-snowboard-and-bike my little heart out, and then I get sad when I realize that I won’t get to do all those things!
But this year, I didn’t let the blues keep me down! I decided to try to find a race similar to Ski to Sea race that allows racers to do multiple legs. And I found my dream race!
It’s called Hood 2 River. (Yes, it’s very hard to say the name without accidentally saying “Hood to Coast.”) Anyway, Hood 2 River is a relatively new race that involves 6 events:
1. Downhill ski or snowboard
2. Cross country ski
3. Mountain bike
4. Road bike
6. Paddle (canoe, kayak, or paddle board).
Best of all, you can do the whole race yourself, or can have up to 6 team members!
ARE YOU KIDDING ME? Finally my mediocrity in a multitude of sports will be an advantage! I may not do any sport well, but I can do a lot of sports average!
So, I’m IN! I’m so in! This is the race of the year for me! I’m so, so, so excited! I’ll be doing half the race, and it’s going to be the most.fun.ever!
Would you like to do a multi-sport race like this? How many events would you want to participate in?
I used to think that new years resolutions were stupid. I thought that most people made unattainable goals related to eating and exercise, which they usually failed at within the first month of the year. So, I thought, “Why bother?”
Last year, for the first time, I really took resolutions seriously. And while I didn’t succeed with all of them, I succeeded with quite a few. Now I think that resolutions are awesome! It’s great to sit down and reflect on what we want out of life, and then make little goals to help us get the life that we want.
Now that 2014 is over, it’s time to look back at what my goals were, and to confess on how I did. So here goes:
Goals for 2014:
- Complete another sprint triathlon. Panic less during the swim. I TOTALLY did awesome at panicking less during my tri…goal achieved! Unfortunately, I failed to train well for the race. While panicking less made the race more comfortable, it didn’t make the race much faster for me!
- Complete another marathon. Train better. Again, I rocked out on this goal…but it didn’t make me any faster!
- Put 27% of my income into long-term savings. (Most of this will go towards retirement). Total success! I put 27% of my income into mine and Husband Saign’s retirement accounts, put a little extra into our Emergency Fund, and put a lot extra into paying down our mortgage. I’m really proud of how well I did with this!
- Sit down 1x/month with Husband Saign to track net worth. Fail. I finally gave up and joint Mint.com. This would have solved the problem wonderfully, except we can’t get Mint to connect with TWO of Husband Saign’s retirement accounts.
- Pray/meditate each day before work. Overall, this went pretty well.
- Read the whole Bible in 2014. Fail. No excuse.
So there we go! I really didn’t succeed with all of my resolutions, but I succeeded with some, and now feel that resolutions are GREAT, because they get me moving in the right direction!
Now to plan 2015 resolutions…
Do you love resolutions, or hate them?
As I look back, I can say that when I consider the hours that I put into preparing for this race, I put in an appropriate amount of time.
The only problem is that those hours were spent sewing costumes instead of training.
For the second year in a row, Ada the Dog and I ran Santa Runs Tacoma. We had a free race entry from winning the costume contest last year. This year they added a half-marathon distance. I decided to run the half-marathon because I wanted the medal. 5k and 10k runners don’t get a medal, so I decided that I had better run the half so that I could have a medal. Yep.
I decided not to train. I guess I didn’t really plan out how to not train, but after running the Snohomish River Run, I thought about what I should do to train for this race, but every time I went out for a long run, I decided to cut it short. In the end, I ran 5-miles or so 1x/week and that was pretty much my training. I wasn’t too worried about it, because I knew that I would have to stop to get Ada the Dog water, so it would be a slower race anyway. So, I figured, “It will be fine! It’s just one foot in front of the other.”
Then, the day before the race, as I was madly sewing my costume, I started to feel worried. I tried to convince myself that everything would be okay and that it was okay that I didn’t train. And then I thought, “I’ve not trained before for races, right? Hmm…when was the last time that I didn’t train for a race?” And then I remembered: The only time that I didn’t train for a race was Ragnar with Nuun, and as I result I cried, couldn’t finish the race, and ended up in a boot cast. Fantastic. So, that was a great confidence boost.
With that in mind, I decided that I’d go sans-Garmin, and walk, jog, skip, jump, whatever I felt, and just have fun on race day.
i prepared an amazing Tiny Tim costume for Ada the Dog. Husband Saign made her an adorable little crutch. It was one of the most ridiculous things I’ve ever seen.
On race day, we stood under the start arch, and got judged for the costume contest. Ada the Dog wasn’t totally comfortable in her costume, so I considered taking it off right after the judging and putting it in Gear Check. But she just looked so ridiculous and cute that I decided I’d try to have her run at least the first mile in the costume.
Well, that didn’t end up working out so well. We took off with the crowd, and immediately after running under the start, I realized that I couldn’t keep Ada the Dog in costume. She was excited to be running, and excited to be surrounded by people, and completely confused about why she was wearing pants. She was pulling, and swerving, and acting like an untrained puppy! Within a few meters of the start line, I pulled to the side and removed her costume. After she was costume-free, we thing took off running again, but there I was, stuck carrying her costume, her leash, and my Nuun bottle. It was not comfortable. At about .5 miles, the race runs over a bridge, and I spotted a little hidden area on the bridge, where I stashed her costume. I also stopped to take a photo!
I felt so FREE after the costume was dropped! Unfortunately, we had spent several minutes taking the costume off, stashing it, etc, so now we were stuck behind groups of walking people, strollers, etc. This was mostly just a problem because I had to weave around the crowds with Ada the Dog on leash, and this was a bit messy.
By about mile 1.5, we were ahead of all the strollers, and we could just steadily pass people without too much fuss. I felt GREAT! It was so fun to just pass, and pass, and pass! I felt so fast! I think I should start purposely starting races behind everyone just so that I can keep passing!
And the race went on, and I just kept feeling strong and happy. I stopped at every water stop to give Ada the Dog water, and I stopped at several puddles to let her drink. And we just kept passing, passing, passing. Oh! And then we were passing pacers. First the 2:30 pacer, than the 2:20 pacer, and at about mile 10 we passed the 2:10 pacer. When that happened, I just thought, “Okay! Yay! This won’t be a personal worst!” Ada the Dog was running strong. I considered not stopping at the last water stop to give her water, because I wanted to get to the finish more quickly. However, my guilt took over, and I stopped. I worried that the 2:10 pacer would pass me while I was getting Ada the Dog water, but he didn’t!
Usually I feel pretty good for miles 1-10 of a half marathon, and I start feeling tired and having to push myself for miles 11-13. But that didn’t happen for this race! I just kept running and passing! I smiled the whole time, and felt strong and happy!
Finally, I was at the finish! In the shoot, I heard someone coming up behind me. No way! I was not going to get passed! I decided to make a game of it, and I started sprinting, trying to stay ahead. As we crossed the mats, the man was about 12 inches in front of me. “Aw man! No way!” I shouted. The man turned to hug me. Then a nice lady dressed as an elf gave me a very sincere congratulations and placed my medal on my neck.
I checked my finish time: 2:07:30.
I then found out that Ada the Dog won the dog costume contest! Woot!
I felt great! Ada the Dog ran strong. I ran strong. We both were happy and friendly for the entire race.
That night, I felt like I had run a marathon. I felt so free and happy for the entire race, but apparently I was pushing myself pretty hard. I spent the afternoon lying in bed.
The next day, I found out that Ada the Dog and I made the local paper!
I LOVE this race. It’s super convenient and a pretty course. But my favorite part is the jingling. People wear jingle bells while they run, so as you take off from downtown Tacoma, you hear jingle, jingle, jingle, and you see a crowd of red and green, and it’s just the most fun ever.
What do you think Ada the Dog should wear for next year’s race?
Hello, hello! I’ve been missing from the blog-o-sphere lately. Here’s the story of why:
Once upon a time, we bought a house.
We bought the house because it fit our needs. The house is in a safe neighborhood, near my work, had a large space for Husband Saign to work, a backyard for Ada the Dog to play, and enough space for our hobbies and potential future children.
The house also has some…shortcomings. It was last updated in the 1990s, so there are a lot of cosmetic problems. The cosmetic problems didn’t really bother us, because, they are just cosmetic…things that two crafty and creative people such as ourselves could update.
We forgot that these two crafty and creative people both have jobs and hobbies, so finding time to fix up those cosmetic issues hasn’t been easy.
Lately, we’ve become determined to at least finish the living room, which has been in shambles for several months now.
Husband Saign installed oak floors in 2 rooms, and finished the hardwoods throughout our home! They’re so beautiful! (And that was a BEASTLY project!) He also has been adding new beautiful trim. He replaced our beat-up slate fireplace hearth with a beautiful marble hearth.
I’ve been painting, painting, painting, because it appears to be the only thing that I know how to do. (And I can’t even cut the paint in, so I leave that job to Husband Saign!)
All this working has left me asking one question: Was it worth it???
I’m still not sure. When we bought the house, we thought it would be fun to make it our own. Now we realize that it’s rather time-consuming and expensive to make it our own. We also find it difficult to have guests over when our home is undone, which is frustrating. However, it’s very rewarding to be able to say, “I made that!” when a project is finished! It’s also fun that our house will also be exactly what we want, since we’re making it our own!
What do you say? Are home improvement projects fun or torturous?