Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Jan Stats

January 2016 was a whirlwind, wonderful month filled with adventure.

Swim: 0
Bike: 10 miles, 1 ride
Run: 173.1 miles, 12 runs, 1 race
Strength: 11 times
Yoga: 8 times

Doesn't look like I'm going to be swimming again until after the Umstead 100, I suspended my team membership until April. But it will be a glorious return to the pool then. When I wasn't swimming, there was 173 miles of running, which is a new personal record, narrowly beating December's 170 miles. And I skipped a 17 mile run on Sunday, last day of the month. After the 21 miles I put up on Saturday I just couldn't get out there again, guess I needed some extra recovery time after the 50 mile race. Oh yea, and I finished a 50 mile trail race this month - first 50 finish! My cross training was almost daily strength work either in the gym or bodyweight stuff at home. I've been doing 50 pushups a day (when I actually get down to do them).

The highlight of the month, obviously, was the week I spent in San Diego with my parents. The race was the only workout I got while we were out there. All of the other time was spent sightseeing and whalewatching. So much fun!

Topless Picture Day!
Jan 10 was warm enough for me to drive home from church with the top down. This is one of my annual goals, to drive with the top down once every month this year. Jan is done!

Then it snowed

Near the end of the month we got our first snowfall of the winter. It was about half an inch of ice with another inch or so of snow on top of it. Just enough to keep us inside of the house for 4 days straight, but we never lost power or ran out of food (or beer).

After I got home from San Diego with the Finishers glass from the San Diego 50, Kelley found some Coronado Brewing Company IPA in the grocery here. Made for a fitting celebration for my PDR.

Finally in kid news, we got to plan some of the spring stuff with Evil Genius' Indian Princess tribe. Going to be lots of fun!

I hope your month had as much fun as mine did! February is looking like more of the same. No swimming, tons of running, lots of fun times with the kids.

Monday, February 1, 2016

San Diego - the Postquel

What's the opposite of a prequel? After the big race I wanted a couple of other days in San Diego to play plus another day to fly back home to NC. The plan was to stay off of my feet for a few days and see the sights to take it easy after the big race.  We ended up doing more walking than I planned, but it turned out to be a blast!

Play Day 3: downtown & Coronado
I began at the breakfast buffet and ate as much as you might expect I would eat the day after running 50 miles - about twice as much as everyone else. It was pretty epic.

We started out at the Maritime Museum, which is a series of ships that you can walk through to learn about the sailing and shipping trades around southern California. It turned out to be fascinating! I want to build a wooden sailboat now.

Star of India was the largest ship

The HMS Suprise was also used on set of a Pirates of the Caribbean movie, and Master and Commander of the Far Side of the World

So much rope!

I'm just like Johnny Depp now

Guy out on the front of the ship hanging rope

That mast was GIANT

The anchor was huge too
Those sailboats each take a crew of between 40 and 60 people to sail. Pretty amazing how everything has to work together in sync for it all to work correctly. Really intricate stuff.

After that we walked down to the Midway Museum, but didn't want to pay to get on. I've seen aircraft carriers on the east coast before. It was just as cool from the side of the road.

After that we took a ferry out to Coronado Island. Fun fact, there isn't a house for sale on the island for less than a million dollars. It's a really nice and fun place to hang out. There is a little touristy space near where the ferry docks, and we soon found a great spot for lunch.

Coronado Brewing Company was amazing. I had the fish tacos in addition to this wonderful IPA.

Mom playing with pictures.
Then we got a cab out to the other side of the island to check out the Hotel Del Coronado. It's where they filmed "Some Like it Hot". Such a fancy, swank place it was a lot of fun to just hang out there for the afternoon. Dad and I had a couple of drinks while Mom shopped some.

Inside the Hotel Del

Facing the Pacific ocean

There were some really cool sandcastles for MLK weekend

Mom and I got our feet in the Pacific Ocean

The Hotel Del Coronado from the beach

the San Diego skyline

cool bench with planters that I want to build for my garden

MLK parade car

Once we got back into downtown, there was a parade going on for MLK day and we found these really cool cars. Such showboating! so neat. After that we got some pizza and called it a night.

Play Day 4: whale watching
Kelley likes it when I pick her up a local college sweatshirt from wherever I travel too. I think she wants one from every state, which is ok by me. We started off today by heading to the San Diego State Aztecs campus, and we eventually found the bookstore and a great sweatshirt. I got an aztec tank top too. Really a beautiful campus and a cool part of the city!
Mom goes back to college
After that we went over to the H & M Marina and got lunch at one of the restaurants there. I had an octopus taco and a fish taco, both were tender and amazing. Very fresh. There were, of course, lots of boats on the marina too.

One of the things we said we wanted to do before getting out here was to go whale watching. This is the migratory season for gray whales so they were supposed to be particularly active. We booked this tour in advance and were really looking forward to it. What we got did not disappoint.

On the boat for a 3 hour tour

a sailboat shipyard with no docks. How do they get back to shore?

The peninsula that contains the Cabrillo national monument we toured on day 1

Dad chilling on the back of the boat.

This actually shows Mexico in the distance too

Mom hates this picture

First whale sighting

That's a whale cresting

Whale Tail

Closeup of the back of a Gray Whale

After the tour we got dinner at a restaurant near the marina
We did find several whales that were off in the distance, but eventually found one that got very close and wanted to play. It was a pacific gray whale over 40 feet long (by estimate), and jumped out of the water a lot. I was just watching the whale, of course, and tapping my phone at random times hoping to get a decent shot. Some of those aren't too bad. H&M Landing was a great place to get the tour setup, and the boat was very impressive. We had an amazing time. 

After the whale tour, found a place called Jimmy's American or something like that. Apparently it's pretty famous, and I could see why. The ahi burger was fresh off of the boat, and amazing. I could get used to eating that much fresh fish.

I ended up turning in the rental car after that so I wouldn't have to mess with it the morning of the flight, and it turns out the return place was in walking distance of our hotel. And I happened to walk past the Ballast Point Brewery, but ended up not going in for a pint (regret - next time).

Fly back on Day 7 - Tuesday
My flight left at 7:45 am pacific time, but my body was still on eastern time so I had no trouble getting up and out of the hotel. Made it to the airport before the sun came up, and landed in Raleigh about 6 hours later after the sun had already gone down. Planes were smooth and on time. I went back to work Wednesday without missing a beat.

Overall, I can see why so many people said I would enjoy San Diego. This was an absolutely wonderful trip. I am grateful to get to spend so much time with my parents. My expectations were set pretty high, and the city really exceeded everything I could have hoped for. Part of doing the 50 state thing is getting to experience as much as possible of the local environments, and this was an incredible way to see California. Sure there were stereotypes of lots of guys in matching flannel shirts with trucker hats. But the weather was great, the food was incredible, the landscape was breathtaking. I met plenty of locals during the race and they were all very nice. It was easy to drive around. I can't say enough good things about the area! This was a wonderful trip and I really hope I get to go back someday (and hope I can talk Kelley into flying out with me).