20 March, 2010

National Half, 2010

Category: Biking,Club,DC,Racing,Running — Moose @ 5:16 pm

It’s dark at 4 am when you get up for a race. I had to wear my glasses to bike over to the race this morning, since it started at 7, which was about 15 minutes before the sun came up. Switched to the sunglasses even in the dark because I knew I’d want them on the course, but not for biking over.

Nice, cool morning. Bike ride over was easy, though it took me a bit to find bike parking. I was the only one on the actual rack near the finish line – most people just locked up to street signs. Changed into running stuff, ran into club folks who were volunteering, club folks who were running, and other friends and coworkers who were running as well while we waited inside. Seeded myself back according to the time I thought I’d do. Interestingly, they assigned us to “corrals” according to our speed, but then didn’t put numbers out for the corrals, just the expected times. Ooookay.

They threw the professionals out on the course and then began the slow crawl toward the starting line. Once we got going I did pretty well pacing myself at just under 10 minute miles (and the results show my 10k split was at an average page of 9:55 min miles). The last half was a bit slower as we hit hills and I tired out some, but the 2:15:03 finish time was perfectly fine by me. As the first race of the season I wasn’t looking to break any personal records, just to get out and do the distance before the tri season got started. The course itself was good, the right level of challenge for an early race, though it was a tad quiet since a good chunk went through downtown’s business district and some sleepy neighborhoods. Adams Morgan was nice and cheery, with a good crowd, and there were good pockets of cheering here and there as well through North Cap and the Hill. I had fun giving high fives to a bunch of little kids along the race course where I spotted them in time. In any case the kids cheering always brought on a good smile.

Mile 11 seemed to be the missing mile for a lot of people, as in we hit 11 and then the next thing you knew, you were hitting the marker for 12 and thinking, “where did that last mile go?” At least 2-3 other people I talked to had the same experience. The last couple miles were challenging, and I was thanking my lucky stars I was just doing the half as it was starting to warm up as we came into the finish chute. I’m nicely sore this afternoon after a short nap and some goofing off on the PS3, post-race, but not injured and feeling pretty good. A good way to start the season, and I look forward to the rest of it.

National Half Marathon 2010

14 March, 2010

Moving On

Category: Dating,Drinks,Exercise,Family,Habits,Mood,Running,Triathlon,Work — Moose @ 6:50 pm

February just sucked gorilla butt.

Since I haven’t posted since mid-February here, there have been a number of changes, with the usual ‘things in threes’ as well. On top of the death of my grandfather, Mike and I broke things off, and I finally discovered what the third casualty was. In the mess in the middle of the month my office and I completely lost the invite to the GAO annual one-day update on the state of appropriations law over the past year. On Friday I found out it had happened the day before. Understand, this is the one bit of professional development I get to do each year which is actually relevant to what I do at work (as opposed to the annual CLE requirements & courses for the bar, which are a complete waste of my time), and I haven’t missed one since they started doing them until this year. So, yeah, February sucked gorilla butt.

March has been better. I’m on track to do okay in the half marathon next weekend, and by extension the 10 miler next month. I’m getting a good base built for the IM, setting the stage for that little challenge at the end of August. To keep myself on track there I’ve actually stopped drinking. I’ve found that when I do drink, even just a single drink, I tend to drag badly the next day, which prevents me from training (and puts me in a foul mood). The IM is too important to me to let a preventable thing stand in the way, so I’m not letting it. I’ve gone out a time or two to bars with friends now, and it’s actually not been bad not drinking.

Works’ been crazier this month than last, and we’re starting to run against political pressures on spending. Thankfully my office advertised for another fiscal law specialist, which closed Friday, so we’ll start setting up interviews for the next week or two. I hope the process goes quickly, I definitely need the help, and soon.

14 February, 2010

Catching Up

Category: Exercise,Family,Finance,Running — Moose @ 12:45 pm

It’s been a heck of a week here. With the snowmageddon, followed by the 3rd blizzard of the season just a couple of days later, I was off work for the majority of the week, and actually chomping at the bit to get back just so I could socialize with people again. Not to say I didn’t see my neighbors on occasion, but it’s not like we spend a ton of time hanging out. Finally got back to work Friday morning only to leave early after getting the news that my grandfather passed away that morning (probably while I was trudging through snow to try to get to work). I’m headed down here in a bit for the funeral, if I can ever get myself moving this morning. I will enjoy getting to see all of my cousins, at least.

In better news, I managed to pay off a student loan last month (the one with the highest interest rate) and just yesterday scheduled a pay off payment for a credit card which should hit that account tomorrow. It’s a card I keep low and try to pay off monthly anyway (I put a couple of recurring bills on ‘autopay’ on it), but I’d gotten a small balance there with an unexpected expense or two, so now that’ll be back to normal. Used the federal tax return to kill that off and rejiggered the budget to put the extra cash I was using to pay it down (less the regular bills) over to paying off the next card. That second one should get paid off by the end of this year at the current pace (9 months?), freeing that cash up for other debt. I know, “been there, done this” with the cards & student loans, but with my mortgage having been sold to an idiot of a company (not to name names, but they go by the initials “Green Tree Servicing”), I want the other things gone so I can do things like fix up the apartment here and have it in a more sellable position, as well as more comfortable/livable in general.

The snow has been limiting on being able to get out and run, so I’m feeling a bit behind on my training for the half in March, but I think I can get some good running in while down at the parentals’ place this week and get back on track.

26 January, 2010

Procrastination/Red Ink/Life

Category: Annoyances,Dating,Exercise,Home,Pests,Running,Sleep,Work — Moose @ 11:09 pm

I keep finding good excuses not to get to the pool. That will have to stop soon. Maybe next week. However, the bike and run workouts are going well, and for the most part are happening as planned, which I take as a good sign here in the beginning of training. Getting back into the groove of training can be the hardest part of the training season for me, so I’m liking that I’m getting into the right schedule for it. 8 mile run planned for the morning tomorrow, so crashing here soon to be rested for it.

Today was one of those “OMG, none of the non-lawyers at the BGA can write their way out of a paper bag!” days. Statutory citations I’ll give a very, very wide pass on (since, well, that’s my job to provide and correct them), but basic sentence structure (subject-verb-object), not so much. Things like that make my brain hurt. And there was a lot of it today, as there was yesterday. It’s all a wee bit frustrating, and virtual red ink (track changes) just isn’t as satisfying as whipping out a real red pen and leaving a trail of bloody words strewn across a physical page. Oh, and the next office that asks me where a package is, when the package came in at 7 pm on Friday, at the same time that same office dumped another, 200 page, time-sensitive document on me, I will have them killed. Slowly. With a real red pen. Preferably fountain, with poisonous ink.

The business of every day life continues apace. Laundry was done. The cult’s co-op’s new management team was fussed at over missing notices about impending pest control measures. Talked with Mike. The usual stuff, which is a good thing.

8 December, 2009

Ordered/Sauced/Wet

Category: Cooking,Dating,Exercise,Running,Weather,Work — Moose @ 11:24 pm

Well, gifts have been ordered. The ones that I’m ordering online, that is. The appropriate parties will receive them in the appointed times. Whee. Thankfully ordering was relatively easy, once the harder part, the deciding, was done. That process took weeks, unfortunately.

After a long, dragging day at work (punctuated only by an office party at one of our program offices – yay for mid-afternoon beer), I came home to whip up some marinara with part of the bounty I brought home from the grocery store yesterday. I hadn’t gone in ages, so yesterday was particularly expensive. Thankfully homemade marinara is relatively inexpensive to produce, and freezes well, even with the addition of some ground turkey. I did manage to forget that it’s better to spice the turkey while ‘browning’ it, but given that it’s been a decade since I last did that, I think I can be forgiven. I’ll try not to forget again. But man, good sauce, completely worth the time to make it. And now I’ll have it to zap for a bit yet.

It looks like it’s going to be nastily wet tomorrow morning for the run, which kinda sucks since my last run up in Provincetown this past Saturday was similarly cold and wet. The joys of winter running. I think it would be prudent to make it a short run and just do 4 rather than the usual ‘long’ run on a Wednesday.

Provincetown was, as I intimated above, pretty darn wet for the one full day there. No snow, thankfully, but plenty of cold rain. Worth every minute of it, though. The concert was fun, as was shopping. And of course, seeing Mike was pretty darned keen. Next visit is in a couple weeks, then again the weekend after. Miss him a lot when he’s not here or I’m not there. But, it goes well, and it makes the time together a bit more special.

5 December, 2009

Weekend Away

Category: Dating,Music,Queer,Running,Shopping,Travel,Weather — Moose @ 7:53 pm

I’m spending a lovely, if wet, weekend in Massachusetts with the bf. Flew up yesterday after work, he picked me up at Logan, and we immediately drove out to Provincetown, a place I’d not been before (so, yeah, coming to the summer resort in December? Brilliant!). Overall it’s been a nice little visit, the town is quite cute, and I can see how it would quickly get overwhelmed on weekends in the summer, even worse than Rehomo Rehoboth Beach, DE does. Most of the shops have been open for some last minute shopping, and the overall atmosphere has been fun.

He’s singing in two concerts this evening with the local gay men’s chorus. I’m going to the later one, so am catching up on web reading until then. Got in a very wet five mile run this afternoon, which despite the rain went pretty well, if a bit fast (probably because of the rain – pacing was out the window as I simply tried to pay attention to running on the side of the road with some, though not much, traffic). Heart rate was similarly a bit high, but I’m not concerned – I’ll treat it as a last race-page workout before the Celtic Solstice 5 miler in two weeks.

We head back to Boston at some point to pick up his pug and settle in for a quiet evening before I fly back Monday morning, heading into work directly from the airport. I’ll get to see him again Xmas weekend in Pennsylvania, then again the next weekend when he flies down to DC for new year’s eve. Even with the distance he makes me happy, and that’s worth a lot.

18 November, 2009

Switching Seasons

Category: Running,Stuff — Moose @ 9:40 am

Switching back to running in cooler weather always necessitates an adjustment period. I tend to forget which items of clothing are best at which temperatures, though I did remember not to even attempt gloves. I warm up enough after 8-10 minutes of running that gloves become too warm in all but the coldest weather (in which case I’d probably go running inside anyway). I could’ve used a wind vest this morning, but the tights were exactly the right weight. Is good when I guess correctly at the beginning of the change in seasons.

On the other hand, it’s time to get new running shoes this weekend. The toebox has been an issue with the new orthoses, and this morning it came to a head in the form of a blister or other sore on one toe, with the result of some blood in the sock when I got home. So, new shoe time, perhaps going up half a size if that’ll help give a bit more room for my toes.

26 October, 2009

1 Down/BE Visit/Keeping Going

Category: Body Electric,Dating,DC,Family,Knitting,Running — Moose @ 8:02 am

No pictures yet, but I finished sock #1 of the set I’m doing from the Braun’s Woods colorway. Fairly pleased with how it came out – the fit is really good. The way the colorway came out was a bit odd – I get a nice spiral up the leg, but the foot alternates between some light striping and two big chunks of pooled colors. Hmmm. I expect the 2nd sock (which has been cast on) will come out about the same.

Dug through stash to see what I might have for some quick hats for the two younger nieces for giftmas. Given my brother’s job situation they’ll get a check from me as the main gift, but something tangible for the little ones is good to do, too. Hopefully the bits of stash I’ve identified will be enough for two hats for them. Oh, and may I say that I am very, very glad I got a ball winder, as that’s making re-packaging yarn to carry with me much, much easier.

Nice weekend here. One of my body electric brothers was in town and crashed here, so got in lots of walking around, playing tourist. I need to go ahead and join the Smithsonian as a supporter of the American Art Museum – I always end up taking people up there rather than the Mall! I especially love some of the crazy folk art stuff on the first floor; we ‘Mericans have managed to come up with some batshitcrazy stuff (as well as some seriously good art, but the batshitcrazy tends to catch the eye). ‘Twas good to catch up with him and reconnect, and I always enjoy playing tour guide in my little city.

Up a bit too late to run this morning, so will do so this evening instead. Will have the advantage of being warmer then, too. Made plans with Mike to head up there the first weekend of December. He’ll be down the weekend after next, so I’ll get to see him soon! There’s a game day that weekend, too, so I get to show him off as well. The holidays will be a little bit crazy, and we briefly toyed with the idea of a visit “home” to his parentals, but it’s a bit soon for that yet. We talk a lot, more than I normally ever like to talk on the phone (friends will confirm I’m more of a texter than a talker), but it’s not felt forced or anything. Still smitten, obviously.

It’s about time for me to go through the Uberlist for this year, catalog what’s been done, what’s yet to be done and is still doable, and what’s completely out. Not quite sure how I’ve done – I haven’t kept up with the list that well this year (in terms of looking it over), but I suspect I’ve done a bit more than I thought I might, realistically. But that’s another post.

21 October, 2009

Settling Back In

Category: Cooking,Dating,DC,Exercise,Food,Friends,Habits,Knitting,Running,Work — Moose @ 9:20 pm

Starting to get back into a routine now after a couple of weeks of head cold, travel, complete abandonment of exercise, etc. Ran Monday and this morning (much to the chagrin of my legs), went to the men’s knitting group tonight and got another inch or so done on the leg of the latest sock, cooked a good meal last night, getting into the groove of the new fiscal year at work, etc. A return to semi-normalcy, which is very welcome.

Part of cooking last night was using my microwave convection oven for the first time as an oven and not just a microwave. I knew they didn’t take as long to cook, but didn’t expect quite how much faster it would be. The little 3 lb turkey breast that the label said should take 2.5-3 hours in the oven took 45-60 minutes in the microwave convection oven, and came out quite nicely. Color me impressed. Add to that the butternut squash, roasted in the normal oven, and some asparagus to go with and it was a nice little meal, with some good leftovers. I need to cook more, and this was partly an experiment to see how easily I could cook up something like the turkey breast for taking into work instead of buying the deli meat sandwiches and all the filler they have in them.

Before heading out to the knitting group I raided my stash and managed to find the yarn I was going to make into a scarf last spring (improvised design, didn’t work). I have found a better pattern which is almost exactly what I was envisioning for myself, so was good to find existing stash for it. I should catalog the stash again, and add in all the new sock yarn from the summer, but meh. Also managed to find some stash for a couple of other gift projects. Score.

Spending time with Mike this past weekend was wonderful. Still very much smitten there, and looking forward to seeing how it grows. We just fit together well, and he makes me want to be better.

Running’s getting going again because I have a race in two months, and I will be prepared for this thing and its hills, come hell or high water. Fridays are going to start being hill workout days – heading up toward the Mall via L’Enfant Promenade (that dreadful monstrosity of I.M. Pei’s), and if I can get far enough, up around the ‘hill’ around the Washington Monument. This is the problem with having moved down to the river – it’s relatively flat here, and thus harder to train on hills without traveling. We’ll see how this Friday goes.

Friends visiting over the next three weekends, including Mike in early November. Busy times, and good stuff to do – will help get me out of the apartment, and back into a social groove. While I am doing the IM in August, I need to better balance a social life of sorts, no matter how limited, and settle back into a better pattern of living.

30 September, 2009

Random Stuff At FY’s End

Category: Exercise,Health,Knitting,Music,Queer,Running,Stuff,Weather,Work — Moose @ 7:40 pm

So, I fagged out this morning and bought the super-duper-mega-deluxe-expensive version of Our Lady Of Pop’s latest collection of music I mostly already own. I must say, I’m kinda enjoying having the vids on ye olde AppleTV thingey (since the TV is the best set of speakers in the apartment, this is a good thing).

(oh, and the champagne flutes she uses in the Music video? That’s my crystal pattern)

I’m also suddenly feeling the urge to knit a sweater. I think I must be getting feverish from the head cold. So instead tonight I’m going to work on the long-neglected sock I’m supposed to be knitting. I have to admit, I’m a little afraid of knitting a sweater. I’m not a fan of wearing them, and I’d be trying to make this to be at least partially fitted (as opposed to looking like a big lumpy sack cloth, like many sweaters do), with a really pretty pattern, but man, that’s a lot of yarn to buy and work with. I’m hoping the feeling will pass, but I suspect it won’t. Hmph.

I did get up and run this morning, so am obviously feeling better than I was this weekend. May bike in the morning if I wake up for it. It’s perfect running weather out there now – 50s in the morning. Not so perfect biking weather, but it’ll do. Better than using the trainer, which I’m not ready to do yet.

(okay, watching older Madonna vids, it’s sooooo obvious that she got serious dance training over the years, because the newer ones are so muh more technically competent than her early ones – I mean, watching Lucky Star makes me feel kinda embarrassed for her it’s so amateurish)

Managed to get through the last day of the fiscal year without major drama, mainly because I completely ignored one of our program offices. They can’t manage their own field offices, and I refused to play referee today. Made the day go much better than it might have otherwise. Of course, they’re trying to drag me in tomorrow, but I think I’m going to ask my management to intervene, both with the program people and with the field personnel who are a piecemealing their objections to what we’ve (HQ) told them to do. Tomorrow will be another day, and another year, and another set of messes. Gotta love it.