Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Saved from Complete Insanity!!

Once again, procrastination has saved me. The Disneyland Half Marathon is full.  My toenails are safe, at least from that race.

On a related note, the pain in my left foot, which has nastily kept me from working out since race weekend, appears to now be gone.  It has, however, faked me out before, so I'll follow my athletic trainer/nurse sister's advice and give it five full days of pain-freeness before heading back to the gym.  I've also been advised that I should spend the first several workouts on non-impact activities like the recumbent bicycle and maybe the elliptical.

Boy (who, oddly enough, has become a 4 days/week gym rat since he decided that perhaps working out might not be a completely awful experience) had suggested during my recuperation that I might try a Core workout since lifting weights was out of the question (tennis elbow diagnosis) and running/walking was bad too.  I didn't want to tempt fate and break another body part so I have been studiously avoiding exercise.  Got myself good and out of breath hustling up the steps to the 2nd floor of the library today.  Ugh. Really not looking forward to how ugly those first workouts are going to be once I get back to cardio training.  I'll be starting out at the beginning of the Couch to 5K drill again.  Ick.

Probably best I don't get to be insane with a second half marathon this year. I think I'll just "settle" for dropping my body fat percentage down to 22-ish instead and getting my bahookie through 3 miles of running non-stop on a consistent basis. That seems like a reasonable goal to reach by the end of summer.

Photo: Fleegle's Queen Susan Shawl
And, for those of you who know me well and are concerned that my shying away from crazy ideas is a sign of the Apocalypse, fear not.  I have a horribly crazy idea in my knitting/spinning life.  I'm seriously considering spinning all the yarn needed for The Queen Susan Shawl and then knitting it.  That's 6000-6500 meters of yarn not much thicker than sewing thread. The kicker is that it needs to be a two-ply yarn, so I'll actually spin 13000 meters of even finer thread, then combine two threads into one.  If I do it right, the whole finished project will weigh 12-14 ounces.  Should take well over a year just for the spinning, assuming I keep at it consistently.  Add in another year or two for the knitting, assuming I don't set it aside for a couple years in the middle as seems to happen to my big knitting projects. But at the end of it all, I'll have a lace knitting tour de force completed and a tremendous sense of accomplishment.

So rest assured. I'm still crazy.  I'm just more mature about it and no longer go crazy everywhere all at once.  I do keep some sanity present in at least one aspect of my life at all times. I have noticed that I do seem to choose epic projects to pursue--a PhD, marathon races, a huge yard/garden, and now a huge spinning/knitting project. Next I'll have to write a big fat book. ;-)

Monday, March 14, 2011

Where have you been?

Here's where I've been....

I have visited 38 states.  Looks like I need to plan a vacation to the northeast. :-)

Create your own visited map of The United States

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Weekend Activity

Saturday was the usual errand running. Sunday was a bit different.  Boy and I volunteered at the shooting range for a trail ride event.  Our job was to help clear the trail a bit and to keep riders on course.  In the past there were folks who wandered off course, which could be disastrous on an active shooting range.

The sunrise was gorgeous. Fortunately we didn't have to be there that early.  I spied this while having my breakfast and reading e-mail.
The day was overcast, chilly and a bit breezy.  We dumped tumbleweeds over a fence to get them out of the way and then waited for the riders. 
  Over a hundred riders passed us and everybody seemed to be having a good time.
 The whole event was over by 11:30 for us. The riding club held a chili feed in conjunction with the ride, but we decided to head back to town and our favorite Sunday breakfast spot.

Afterward Boy went to the gym.  I got all ready for the gym, thinking I'd spend 30-40 minutes on either an elliptical or recumbent.  Then I discovered that my sore spot on my foot is still sore, at least when I put on athletic shoes.  I figured it would be the better part of valor to not stress my foot.  It's really starting to bother me that, between my elbow and my foot, I can't workout.  I hate paying for the gym and not getting to go play in it.

So now I'm spending the afternoon knitting and blogging and watching NetFlix. Somehow it seems like I should be doing more.  (No, I still haven't really gotten the hang of relaxing and doing nothing.)

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Pics from recent travels....

A few pics from Petra, Jordan
A peek at the Treasury as you come through the canyon
A full picture of the Treasury
Petra is mostly a collection of tombs. There is evidence of a Roman style marketplace and even a water transport and storage system. Petra didn't have a spring, so they built a small aqueduct channel along the walls of the canyon. We hiked all the way to the far end of the site, up about 900 steps carved into rock and saw the Monastery. It was too hazy to see the desert very clearly or we could have waved at places that Lawrence of Arabia visited. Now that I know more about the country and its history, I feel the need to watch that movie again.

From my trip to DC
Me standing on the 7th floor veranda at the State Department
This is the same level that the Secretary's suite of offices is located. I got to look down the hall toward them.  I also saw the Secretary's dining room, the rooms where the foreign delegations wait and the blue room where treaties get signed. In the doorway to the blue room, Jennie (my gracious host and tour guide) and I noted the marks in the wooden floor on the right side of the doorway. The marks on the floor are from the Secretary's heels.  We have had sufficient numbers of female Secretaries of State that they have made a lasting impression on the floor in the spot they stand for announcements/briefings at that location.  Speaking of briefings, I didn't get to have my picture taken in the State Department briefing room because there was a real briefing going on. We did poke our heads in the door and watch for a bit though. Pretty cool.  And I got to have lunch at the State Dept cafeteria. They have a killer salad bar!!!

The chandelier in the lobby of my hotel.  It is larger than my car.
Needless to say this is a rather posh hotel.  They have a lovely Remington bronze on the landing to the 2nd floor restaurant, a pair of Fu dogs that are easily 3'x3'x3' and some gorgeous wool rugs throughout the lobby.

From Florida
The launch of shuttle Discovery on her last flight, STS-133
We stood on a bridge to Merritt Island, about 15 miles from the launch pad. It was pretty cool! I'm very glad I had a chance to see a launch in person, even if the view wasn't quite as clear as on NASA TV.  Boy provided some play-by-play for us as nobody near us on the bridge had a radio so we had no clue if the launch was still a go or scrubbed. Fortunately it ended up a go, despite a close call with a stubborn computer.

 Sis and me before the race at 5am

The bling bling finisher's medal from the Princess Half Marathon
Yes, it is shaped like a tiara and studded with "jewels".

My sacrificed toenails today

The view of the Gulf of Mexico from 32,000 feet on the flight home.  I just love this color blue.

So that's a brief roundup of trip pics.  Now I just need for the bruise on the top of my foot to heel, for my hip to stop being cranky and figure out what my next trip might be.

Welcome back, Discovery!

Thank you for 27 years of nerdy fun and scientific advancement.

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

On Sleep

While in DC for a conference, I got in the habit of having a couple cups of coffee a day. While on vacation at Disney World, I had a venti latte every morning and a soda later in the day. The week I came back, I drank a couple cups of coffee a day and a soda. Over the weekend I drank one or two sodas a day. Yesterday I had two or three cups of coffee and a soda.
Photo Copyright FreeStockImages.org

I was up until after 1am, unable to sleep, and tossed and turned the rest of the night, greatly irritating my already irritated right elbow and left hip. And I woke up late, so didn't have time for the gym, not that my body was upset about that.


Today I made a point of drinking just one cup of coffee and one soda. Thanks to my lack of sleep last night, I'm ready for bed at 7pm. Unfortunately, I was supposed to go see the Foothills Brass Ensemble in a community concert tonight.  I'm not going to make it.  In a few minutes, I'm headed in to find my PJs and curl up with a good book.

And then I'll get up at 4:30 to hit the gym and get to work early.  I've got two papers to write tomorrow....

Monday, March 07, 2011

The Insanity May Continue On

As you know, a couple months ago I joined a gym and re-started regularly working out.  And at the end of February, my sister and I finished the Disney Princess Half Marathon.

Today I did a silly thing.  I went to the runDisney.com website. There I discovered the Coast to Coast Challenge.  If I finish the Disneyland Half Marathon in this calendar year, I get a bonus medal on top of the two finisher's medals.
Yes, I am now seriously considering running the Disneyland Half in September.  If I start training now, I even have a chance of knocking an hour off my time.  Been needing to pick a new exercise/fitness goal anyway...

Now I just have to see if my finances and vacation time will allow, but I'm willing to tighten my belt, spending-wise to give it a shot.  And maybe my toenails will even have grown back by then.

Definitely crazy.

You know you live in a geeky/nerdy science town when....

This is the artwork on the wall at the local Starbucks....

Most people wouldn't consider the Trilinear Chart of the Nuclides to be artwork. Educational, perhaps, if they even knew what it was.  (It shows the decay paths of radioactive isotopes. Given that this Starbucks is <20 miles from the Hanford site and the world's first plutonium production reactor, I think it's rather fitting.)

Ever watch the SyFy TV show Eureka?  That's the kind of place I live in. :-)