Monday, December 28, 2009

Road Trip

So I went on my first road trip in a few months, well...maybe its been more than a few months but I'm not counting. It was great to get out of dodge for a week, this is something I need to do more often. Only one more class in this endless degree program. I enjoy the feeling of opportunity and the perception of enhanced personal growth that school has given me but I am beginning to loathe the amount of work that it involves.
So we drove straight to South Carolina from Providence. This took 21.5 hours 8AM to 530AM. Really wasn't all that bad, but it was long. We had four people and a dog so we had to stop, we got stuck in this great big giant parking lot which is also known as Route 495 around Washington, DC, and we stopped for a sit down dinner in Virginia. Delaware continues to be my least favorite state - it is the home of big bank credit cards, tolls, and endless traffic jams to pay tolls. 95 goes through like ten miles of this state. Rhode Island should learn from the second smallest state and have tolls at the border to raise revenue instead of taxing the shit out of its residents. Most Rhode Islanders don't leave the state for anything anyways so I don't know why this scheme isn't an option for our lawmakers.
South Carolina with the family was great, I miss them and should visit far more often than twice a year. I must make it a priority to get down to the great prefabricated south more often, maybe even to do some running or even bike races. I went for a run on Christmas which served as my only outlet for exercise. Running in SC is sketchy - there are no sidewalks and the roads have no shoulders. People drive fast and I got the feeling they don't appreciate people running on the roads.
We drove up to Philadelphia (12 hours) on Saturday to meet up with my uncle and his girlfriend. This was a great time, I haven't seen my uncle in fifteen years and it was great to see him. Philadelphia is huge. I always thought it was similar in size to Boston, it is not - it is far larger, almost like a smaller sized New York. It did not seem nearly as busy as Boston though. It sort of has a vibe like Providence - much more grandiose and vibrant though. Somewhat of a worn industrial city with a colonial Americana heritage element mixed in. This completes my hanging out (code for drinking beer) in every big north-east coast city (except for Wilmington...mostly because it is in Delaware and isn't that big). See earlier comments about Delaware.
After walking around in the rain for a while we finally made it to the bar. For some reason, the beer in Philly seemed to be extra potent. This was not a good thing when you drink a lot of this. On this trip my {domestic accountability factor ©} is negligible, save for the absolutely horrible two day hangover I had on the way home. This hangover ranks in the top three of my life, and believe me - this list is very long. After the first of the year it is back to adulthood however I still have a few days off. Tomorrow I plan on going skiing, or to Boston. Depends on "who is around." I did not go skiing AT ALL last year - because last year was shitty. I hope 2010 is better. 2009 sucked. Boston = alone, skiing = others. Will go to art museum, shopping and library in Boston to cement image as total nerd. It might be cool to run the Blue Hill Skyline. I am waiting for the first of the year to ride again, and I'm not riding for hours and hours in the freezing cold - yet. Date is January 15 for scheduled rides. Riding in the cold requires an extra measure of motivation I'm still working on. Still on a running schedule for a little while.
Right now the dog is looking at me and whining slightly. Me thinks he wants something so its time to go.

Monday, December 21, 2009

The Great Wait

December is the season of waiting. From Thanksgiving to Christmas everyone seems to be waiting for Christmas. Waiting, not starting anything, just making through each day. Today I have been waiting to leave to visit my family in South Carolina. We are driving. We were supposed to leave yesterday at 8AM. We did not for obvious reasons - although we tried to get out but the car rental place was closed (even though they said they were open on the phone).
So today comes and I'm ready to leave early. Wake up at 6AM, put that essential run in and then call my traveling companions to see what time we were leaving. Complications, complications, complications. Receive answer that we aren't leaving for a while. So I went to the gym and did an extra hard weight workout. I did sets of bench press with an easy weight immediately followed by a set of 6 pullups immediately followed by a set of knees/elbows followed by bench etc...
Get back home, shower and put everything that was packed into a bag yesterday back into a bag and call traveling companions again. Receive word that we are still tied up and will not leave for another little while.
OK. Fine. On Facebook, read a bit, watch TV, walk dog, chip ice off steps, throw darts, pace around, call some people, email some others, more Facebook, read entire NYTimes website, Wall Street Journal, comment to Providence Journal. BTW: The people that comment to this newspaper consistently are a bunch of total idiots. Not all of them, but a lot of them. Especially anyone that PUTS THEIR COMMENTS IN ALL CAPS. It is no wonder why the economy in this state is in such a state of decay.
So it gets to like 2PM. One thing I'm not good at is sitting around. I pretty much have to do something at all times. So the word comes out that we are going tomorrow morning. Wait all day to find out we are going tomorrow. This really isn't anyone's fault, it is just how it worked out. At least I was at home and not in the airport - where I would be drinking too much beer and most likely would have to attend rehab once I reached South Carolina.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Winter 2009

I know, its been a while.
Anyway, I've been keeping myself busy - really busy. This is a good thing for me because I am my own worst enemy if I am not busy.
Well, I'm almost done with grad school. Just one more class. Last semester was insane. I wrote over 85 pages for this class, which is a lot for me. This is not to mention the amount of time I spent researching and conducting action research for these projects. I'm actually excited for some of the projects that I'm going to be working on in the spring - mostly database and e-learning stuff.
On the training front its been all running. I finally got to the point where I can eat a gigantic Chipotle burrito and then run 5 miles 2 hours later(like I just did) without totally dying. This is one of the measures I am defining my success in my winter training program since the eighteen minute 5k is not coming anytime soon. I'm working on eating better but its so hard for me to do this and I categorically refuse to be anal about what I eat. Cycling is on hold until I get some more time. Running is far less time intensive. It is also a lot easier on the wallet since I'm paying for school out of my own pocket. Since I'm not all set financially, school is a huge expense for me, but I wouldn't have it any other way. Most of my runs are between 3.5 (short late weekday run) to 11 miles. I want to push that long run up to about 13-15 miles in a few weeks but I'm a bit apprehensive about piling on miles right away as running injuries are a real problem. There is a 10K in Newport tomorrow which I may do or if I don't I'll do the long 13 mile run instead. Apart from running I've been lifting a bit - which I enjoy. For me, lifting and doing long runs do not mix. Maybe its my diet, maybe stress, maybe lack of rest, poor form or a combination of all of those. I've also been doing this crossfit stuff. Crossfit is about the best full body workout I've ever done.
I do miss riding though, I've got to get on the bike for a few times each week...soon.
Road trip to South Carolina next week - 4 of us. Stopping in Philadelphia, DC, Charlottesville then the long haul to Greenville for Christmas. Plan on doing a run in DC and some hiking in Charlottesville.