Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Christmas decorating and getting myself together

We went and got our tree last night and decorated. It was so much fun and it made me look forward to the Christmas break even more.
Also destressing...I finished up at my job last Wednesday. Since I went part-time weeks ago I've been trying and failing miserably at getting anything done, between those extra few hours at home not being as long as you think and being sick on and off for most of the time, everything has been a shambles. Well I'm starting to feel better and after much rest I finally feel like I'm coming back to myself. Martina has been staying up till all hours writing a grant for the last few weeks, so the house was a right mess (not dirty just messy and disorganized) with neither of us really feeling like doing much. I've worked my way through most of the house so far this week and currently I'm tackling the large piles of clean laundry that need to be hung up or folded. I hate doing this stuff, when I'm doing it, but it's so statisfying when it's done. I've had a little stalker while I've done it...who finds my moving around the house disturbs his rest too much.
Slowly, I've also been trying to clean back up my diet which has been a total mess in the last little while. It doesn't mean you can't have the occasional treat tho but I'm trying to make those myself and freeze most of what I make for portion control.
 Next week I'm going to start a December-challenge/or what ever you wanna call it. I'm going to eat better and exercise more consistently. Cause if I don't start now it'll be January before I do. Imagine how much damage I could do unchecked through Christmas :) I hope everyone had a great thanksgiving and is looking forward to the next set of holidays as much as I am. 

Coming up: The last of my Spartan Trifecta races is this Saturday (Super 8-10 mile distance). It will probably be the last of my Spartan career as I just think I enjoying running way more than obstacle racing. The Beast I did last month was meant to be 12-14 miles but ended up being closer to 15 so cross your fingers for me I hope this one is closer to 8. 

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

New Orleans weekend

We went for a quick visit to New Orleans last weekend. For those of you who might remember I signed up for the Big Easy half marathon a long time ago. Then Martina not so long ago got stuck in Atlanta overnight (when Delta went down) and got a $200 flight voucher from delta. So off we went on Friday evening. There are a ton of options for flights (and choice of airports) for us but the easiest thing was to fly out of Columbia, hop to Atlanta and then onto New Orleans. Surprisingly,  total flight time was a little over two hours, so short flights.
It was too late on Friday to do anything when we got there but it was an early start on Saturday morning for race packet pickup.  The race was well organized and I loved the medal. The course was flat and pretty average (scenery wise...no jaunts into the French quarter) except for a short section past the pretty city park. My stomach acted up the whole time (it's been a pain in the butt lately) and I was pretty slow but nothing hurt. I'll count it as a win especially as I changed my shoes back to Pure cadences last week, which I haven't worn in yonks, as Brooks discontinued my pure connects. I'd recommend the race as a decent race and an excuse to visit NOLA. 
After a quick shower we headed back out to the French quarter and wandered around enjoying the scenery and music before going to Cafe du Monde for beignets. These are little fried doughnuts stacked with powdered sugar. I've had them before in places that specialize in creole style southern food but they had nothing on these guys....so good. 
As we were short on time, and had much to see, we booked two tours with www.freetoursbyfoot.com. These are pay what you think the tour is worth type tours. Don't like it, don't pay.  We started off with a 2 hour tour of the French quarter, learning some of the history of Louisiana and NOLA  as well as the local architecture. It was really fun but pretty exhausting after running that morning. We ended the tour at the French market and got some food there. Since my day mostly consisted of sugar and more sugar and not a lot of liquids I ended up with a massive migraine. One that left me a total mess and required sleep. We went back to the hotel and I ended up sleeping for 5 hours, crazy. 
Luckily, the painkillers and sleep got rid of it and it was still early enough to to go out. We went to Hotel Monteleone and their full sized carousel bar. The middle of the bar stays put and the bar top and seats move. Luckily we were able to get a seat and enjoy some yummy Pimms cups. We then strolled back along Bourbon street which is jam packed full of bars with a few strip clubs thrown in. It's a little seedy and full of very drunk people but still kind of fun. 
The next day we did our second tour. This one was of the Loius 1 graveyard, site of the grave of the voodoo queen Marie Laveau. The graves are all above ground to save space as multiple members of families are interred in the same grave (apparently some of them contain up to 80 members of the same family). Again it was nice to learn some of the history so I'd recommend the walking tours.



After that we spent some time shopping, listening to music and going to see the cathedral. We then headed to the airport to fly home only to discover that I'd booked the flights for Monday not Sunday....doh. I think I originally planned them that way but forgot and didn't check when booking the hotel at the last minute. Since neither of us had made any arrangements with work (and it's my last week) and had no hotel, we ended up hiring a car and driving almost 10 hours home. The drive wasn't bad as the roads were quiet but because we started out late we didn't get home til 3am. To compound our adventurous trip, there was a big black mark/scratch on the rental car when we dropped it off. Since we had no accidents, I'm pretty sure it was already there, but we never got the paperwork to check over the car and in our rush to hit the road never thought to ask for it or take pictures of the car. Ekkk...lets hope the insurance we purchased covers that. 
So it was a bit of a crazy trip, putting aside the return journey, New Orleans screams relaxation, and fun so I had an amazing time and cannot wait to go back again.