It’s 4:30 am and I can’t sleep. The half-bottle of wine I drank at dinner caught up to me at about 3:30. Combined with the stress of finding an apartment in the city, figuring out what neighborhood to live in, an uncomfortable hotel room and of course, still working has prevented me from getting a normal night’s sleep.

We arrived on Tuesday night, just over 56 hours ago and since then we’ve seen too many crappy places to coun, along with a few decent/cute ones. The place we’re thinking about seriously renting is on par with my college dorm room, though it does have a separate sleeping space, a full kitchen, and even a washer/dryer unit; which is basically unheard of in the city. To be honest, I was looking forward to sending my laundry out but I guess this would save us money.

Because I can’t sleep, I think I will recap our days here.

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2 hours. 120 minutes. 7200 seconds.

My dad was a jogger when I was a kid. Almost every morning the man would wake up and run 3 miles around whatever neighborhood we happened to live in. I think it came with being in the Army. They always jog in the Army. March, jog, whatever. I remember a few periods in my childhood where I would run with him, but they were never long spurts. A month or two, here or there, but jogging was never something I had a lot of fun doing. I preferred running when it involved a little white and black speckled ball and placing said ball in a net. All kids are ADD and I probably more so than most.

Fast forward 15 years and jogging is now something I enjoy doing. I ran before I met K, but her constant, train-like dedication to her marathon goals made me take it a bit more seriously. She kept me on track to run those longer distances and because of that I now always take my jogging gear with me on my trips. I don’t run every morning, but I run maybe every-other morning. I really enjoy running around cities that I don’t know very well and I have great memories of running through Central Park in NY,  through The Botanical Gardens and up to the Opera House in Sydney, and along the Thames and in Hyde Park in London. If while visiting a city you feel like a tourist, just wake up in the morning and go for a run. You’ll pass by the other tourists with their cameras and feel like the city is yours in some small way.

After watching K run two marathons and several other races, she talked me into doing a half-marathon. I honestly did not have any desire to run a marathon except to get that sense of pride one must get after finishing. I know what it feels like to spend all day or two climbing a mountain and the feeling that comes when you FINALLY, after slogging for hours and hours and eating crappy food and being so cold that your fingers hurt when you put your frozen boots on in the morning, when FINALLY you get to the top. Everything that took to get there goes away when you look out over the rest of the mountain range and realize that you’re looking at such a beautiful view that so many others will never get to see.

And you WORKED for that view. It means so much more internally when you had to WORK to get there. Yea, you can drive up to Hurricane Ridge and see the Olympics up close, but when you hike and climb for 3 days to get to the top of Mt Olympus, the view is that much more breathtaking. The feeling  of accomplishment that comes with the summit is something that can’t be replicated. And you feel great, until you realize it is a two day hike out… 🙂

But back to jogging. I decided to do this half back in Feb or March. We were going to run the Vancouver half in May. Plenty of time to get ready. We followed the Runner’s World guide to training for intermediates as I felt like I could run 6 miles without a problem. We only needed to double that. This went fine until sometime in March. We ran 9 or 10 miles one day and then my dad came up from AZ and we went skiing/riding for a few days at Baker. The next weekend, I went for a 4 mile run with Kelly and 1.5 miles in, my knee started to tighten. A lot. By 2 miles in I had to start walking and trying to stretch my knee. I couldn’t finish. WTF?

I stayed off it for a few days, did some more snowboarding (which felt fine) and then tried to run again on a trip. I could barely do two miles. I finally went to the doc and he confirmed what my physical therapist sister had already told me. I had strained my Patella tendon. I felt old. This was my first ever, real sports injury.

No half for me. No fix. Stay off the knee for a few weeks and then start at back at 1/2 mile runs and then increase by 10% each week. TEN PERCENT. I could use the elliptical in the meantime, thankfully.

So I started back at .5 mile runs, three times a week supplemented by 30-45 minutes on the elliptical. The next week I did .6 miles and after a few weeks I was up to a mile and a few weeks later 1.5. By the time I went to Australia I was up to 2 miles. I felt good. I was running a bit faster than I had before. In Sydney, the route I like to take to the Opera House was about 3 miles, but I would walk to the last mile the first few times. On the last day, I decided to just do a one-time jump to 3 miles (50%, or 40% more than the dr said I should).

I came home to a sore knee and was nervous that I had gone back to square one. but a few days off the knee and a short 2.5 mile run and I was back to 3 without any problems. From there I slowly went to 4 and then because I was running out of time to train for the Victoria half, started following the Runner’s World schedule again. 6 one weekend, 8 the next, then 9, then 11 and then the half.

What is interesting is that some times I would feel pain in a knee but I had actually forgotten which knee had problems. I think it was all psychological. I did half pain in my ankle after the 11 mile run in Phoenix, but this would turn out to be nothing to prevent me from running.

After the 11 mile run, I was totally lazy. I ran twice the week after, a 6 mile run that weekend and then only once the week before the half in London, a short 3 miler through Hyde Park. And I drank and ate A LOT. And slept badly. One night, only getting 3.5 hours of sleep.

On Friday, I flew home in the afternoon, getting in at 9pm in Seattle. We had to pack to catch the 7am ferry to Victoria the next morning. The next day we walked around Victoria, took a nap, grabbed a few beers with a friend and ate a nice meal at Cafe Brio including wine and a mixed drink (though only one of each).

The race started at 7:30 am and as soon as I started running I knew it was going to suck. My legs felt like the wine beer I had drank the night before had turned to cement. Everything was stiff. I felt heavy.

When K and I run together, we’re pretty consistent 10 minute milers, but because my legs are longer, I naturally have a longer stride than her and I felt that I could run a slightly faster pace than her without any more effort. After a mile or so, she told me to leave her if I wanted to run faster. My body did not WANT to run faster, but I felt I could push myself. I left K and started off on my own.

I read other’s reports of running and they say this mile felt good, this mile bad, this one horrible. I can say that no a single mile felt good. They ranged from hard to horrible. It felt so strange because I felt good running the 11 miles two weeks before. It all sucked, but I pushed on. I wanted to finish this thing in 2 hours. Who knows when I’ll run something this long again. Might as well accomplish my goal and never have to do it again.

Despite my legs being so heavy, the rest of my body was OK. I didn’t feel sick or anything. I wasn’t used to running any hills and even the little ones in Victoria were tough for me. I wanted to walk so many times .But despite all that, I did feel like I was running a pretty good pace. At mile 6 there was a water stand. I grabbed a water cup from the table and realized it was empty. So I tried to pivot on my left foot so I could reach for another, full cup and it just gave way. The wet road came rushing up to meet my hip and hand.

I quickly got up, almost yelled at the volunteers for ‘tricking’ me with that empty cup and started running again. Now my hip and ankle hurt from landing on them. The first thought that crossed my mind was that now I had an excuse to walk. I thought about this for awhile and the pain started to go away. My excuse was fading.

The race went on and on it seemed, especially because everything was in kilometers I had no idea how much longer we had. I kept trying to do the km to miles conversion in my head. “OK. if 10kms is 6.4 miles and I’m at km marker 14, it means I’ve got 4 miles left.” etc. I didn’t really know how much I had left until there was a clear marker saying 4kms left.

The last third does suck more than the first two thirds, but I felt if I just kept running, I’d turn the corner to see the clock reading like 1:50:00 or something. I didn’t have a watch and had no idea how fast I was going or how long I’d taken but I knew K ran just over a 2:00:00 half and I had to be way ahead of her.

I turned that last corner and my heart sank. The clock at the finish read 2:02:45 or something like that (I don’t remember the seconds). The only hope I had was that we didn’t cross the start line until a little bit after that clock started, but honestly I KNEW I was screwed. I ran hard anyway. When I passed the clock it was somewhere near 2:03:50. I was beat. I was REALLY beat. I felt awful, not unlike the first time I ran a 10k. AWFUL.

I turned to look for K and she came up just a minute behind me. WTF? Wasn’t I running so much faster than her? I wasn’t. She was right there. I could’ve run with her the whole time and would’ve had someone to talk to, instead of just listening to my ipod the whole time.

Incidentally, K felt fine after the run. It was all just a walk in the park for her. She was laughing and chatting and wanting to pose for pictures while I was desperately looking for food and gatorade in an attempt to replace all the goodness that had left my body over the last two hours. I could barely stand as my legs were so tired and it seemed like K could just skip away. This is the difference between properly training, I suppose.

In the end, my time was 2:01:08. If only I’d been able to shave 6 seconds off my mile time, I would’ve accomplished my goal. In hindsight though, I did manage to cut my avg time down by 30 seconds a mile and maintain that for longer than I have ever run. I feel good about that, but still, I want to beat that 2:00:00. Maybe next year.

It just sort of happened. Kelly and I will be moving to New York in November. We plan to stay in Manhattan and want as many to people to visit as possible. You’ll just have to stay in what will most definitely be a tiny apartment! We’ll be giving up at least 1/2 of our square footage for what we see is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to live in the biggest US city and eat some of the best food in the world. The food really is one of the determining factor here. We have great restaurants in Seattle but NY, well, that’s at a whole other level. We’re very excited to go and we’ve even found a couple of Microsofties to rent out our Seattle condo.

Exact date for the move isn’t yet determined as there are a number of factors going into that decision as well as work timing. No, I’m not leaving my job. I’m relocating. Most of our customers and potential customers are in NY and we’re doing more and more business in Europe. Being in NY gives me better access to all of that.

We’re not leaving Seattle forever either. We love Seattle and we’ll be back at some point.

More info to come. We hope that many of you will take us up on our offer to stay in NY…for free!

It’s 5:38 am and I slept from 3 something to 3 something. I think 45 minutes maybe. I can’t seem to sleep and now I’m not tired. I thought I bypassed the jet lag as per usual but something happened today. I had a 14 hour day on 6 hours sleep and worked until midnight, having a drink until 1. I was tired but watched a little tv and fell asleep, waking up shortly thereafter. I did watch a little of the Boston game and was happy to see Lackey lose.

In other news, today is going to suck.

So I’m in London this week for Streaming Media Europe and lots other meetings (too many, probably) and Tricia and I went out for dinner at a restaurant just a couple blocks from our rather crummy hotel. We dined at the concierge recommended Britannia Kensington, where I had the best sausage of my life. If this is the gastro-pub revival, I like it. Everything about my plate was delicious, including mashed potatoes that rivaled the Robuchon mash of Paris. The wine was good too. I think we’ll be back before the end of the week…

Having worked in computers and IT for 10 years and traveling extensively for the last 4, I can safely say that computers are far more user-friendly than alarm clocks. Who comes up with these things and who decides to put the craziest ones in a hotel?! Last week I stayed in the W Manhattan (the fucking W – supposed to be a super nice hotel – it isn’t) and had an alarm clock so confusing that even after studying it for 15 minutes I had no idea how to set it. Luckily, the person before me who set it wanted to get up at the same time I did and I was able to turn it on. This is probably why hotels have wake-up calls, because no normal human can program the in-room alarm clock…

After a very successful trip to Paris that was only two short, I can’t stop my craving for Steak Frites and/or Steak au Poivre. Last night, I was lucky enough to go  to Daniel’s Broiler on Lake Union which is one of the best steak houses in Seattle with an incredibly tender and flavorful fillet. In a quest to fulfill my desire, I ordered my tenderloin with a peppercorn brandy sauce and with a side or fries. The steak was delicious and so were the fries, but the peppercorn sauce wasn’t cream-based 😦 and it just wasn’t the same (despite costing 3x what it costs in Paris).

Next week I’m in NY and hopefully I’ll be able to find a place that matches my expectations. If any city in the U.S. can come through, it is NY.