Wednesday, 6 September 2017

Constant FOMO and training

Seeing pictures like the one above has me itching to register for races! Why, when I'm not even sure my body can handle training to the full marathon distance?

I think this means I've got my running mojo back! I'm enjoying training and want to tackle all these amazing west coast races that I've never had the opportunity to do before. 

I really have to rein myself in tho. I'm loving running but I can still feel how weak my left leg is. It's improving but any hard running, like track work, leaves me with a super tight hamstring and a sore ankle. My body has to adjust to the workload again, the sciatic part of piriformis syndrome really did a number on me!

Right now the majority of my training is actually cross-training which is perfect for reducing the stress on ill prepared joints while still getting fitter. I'm also slowly working my way back to more strength work which was scaled back to the bare minimum with the disruption of moving. I'm also doing a little yoga pretty much everyday to keep everything as loose as it can be.

I think (and I change my mind constantly) that I'm gonna save the L.A marathon for next year. I have the Malibu half in November. That'll be slow. After that the Legger training adds an extra run/week. If I cope well with that and I still want to run more I can always train a past half distance (maybe as far as 16 miles) then drop back to half distance (for another race) before the stressful part of full training kicks in (aka the 20 milers). 

Next weekend I'm volunteering at a race. This will be my first time doing this..beating my anti social tendencies, ha ha! If I enjoy it maybe that'll be a new outlet for me to get my racing fix!

Friday, 18 August 2017

Life in California, so far

We are here almost a month, isn't that crazy?

We arrived happy to sleep in a real bed after two weeks on the road from South Carolina. The fact that I was dying with a cold expedited our arrival. We pushed through and did a long last day of driving. The nice thing was we were staying with a friend rather than in a hotel.

Martina, who has lived here before, was worried I wouldn't like L.A. After a walk along the beach and the nearest shopping street, I knew it was for me. I've fallen in love with West L.A. It's remained that way, I love stepping out the door and being able to go shopping, grab a drink or go out for dinner. 

Obviously, that all comes with a price. The neighborhoods nearest the beach are also some of the most expensive, for rent and just about everything else (think $3+ drip coffee). However, Martina works in one of these neighborhoods so living here reduces her commute time. Heck, she can even get a bus on the days when I want the car. Since moving here was about improving the quality of our life, as well as career opportunities, it's worth it!

Our living situation is kind of complicated. We looked really hard for a few days for a place to live. It was stressing us out because there was very little available. Then an off-hand comment to our friend obviously planted a seed of an idea. I joked we'd take his place and he could move in with his girlfriend. Well, we were on the verge (literally walking to look) of taking a place in an apartment complex, with really shitty reviews, when she decided to move in with him and asked if we'd sublet her place.
 It's in Venice, 5 mins walk from the boardwalk and it's a really cute 1 bed place. It's rent controlled which means we are paying waaaayyyyy below market value. Really it is the only way we could afford to live in Venice right now. The area is just so cool. Its such a complete mix of people and scenes. There is Abbott Kinney, a shopping area for the super chic and rich. We are talking McClarens, Porsches and Ferraris abound. Then there is the boardwalk with homeless people, tourists and the smell of weed everywhere. We are also right next door to Santa Monica which kind of fancy but much more normal, middle of the road. This is probably where we will eventually end up. Hopefully, still close to the beach but probably not :)

So, what is complicated? Our friend is not meant to sublet. Its also not a pet friendly building, even tho I've spied a few cats in windows! That makes leaving our slightly (understandably after so much change) anxious puppy to cry it out, if we both leave, a non-starter. It doesn't stop us going out because a lot more places are pet friendly here. It also doesn't stop us doing the one thing I've missed the most from Dublin (Ireland), wandering around people watching.

Loves the beach
However, this is just a temporary situation. The plan is to stay here until January. That'll give our friends a cushion to see how living together goes (without giving up a rent controlled apartment) and gives us an opportunity to throughly explore Venice and find the perfect place, with less pressure and at a less busy time of year.

Martina is enjoying her work so much. She's mentioned how she learned as much in a week at the new job as she had in a year at the old one. She has been thrown in at the deep end, learning more about the business and management side of research but she is tacking it head on and I can tell that the change in job alone has made it worth it for her. Right now, she is still officially a posdoc (because of visas) but in January she'll be changing visas as well as starting her new job and new salary $$$ ha, ha, which will make life easier.

I've spend the last few weeks arranging our stuff. Subletting, at least for now because it was a sudden move, means fitting our stuff in with someone elses (who owns more things than both of us combined!!). I've also caught up on my rest as the road trip was amazing but left me feeling rather jet lagged. I've been running and I'm starting to up my activity in general. I'm not starting any pre-req classes until January. So, I think if I'm stuck with Boomer, I'll use the next few months to do some much needed study for the GRE!

A expected, I've been caught off guard at times by how busy it is, mostly in big stores, but it'll just take a bit of time to get used to. Most things are the same but just different enough to make you pause. Trader Joes (our regular grocery store) is much the same but then little things are obviously catered to the market here. My beloved Reisling also does not seem so popular here :( but they sell liquor in the regular grocery store (didn't in SC). Must find a real wine store before I start hitting the hard stuff ha, ha! 

Driving here has been an adventure. I'm so glad we bought the GPS. There is a lot of tailgating so you really need to know where you are going. There are also a lot more pedestrians and cyclists so I really have to be very aware after quiet Columbia SC. Thankfully, I did not have to sit a 3rd driving test in my lifetime, just a theory test! I spent a ton of time in the DMV to register the car and change over my license, hopefully I don't have to go again for a very long time.

I do miss the convenience of having some big box stores (like Target) near by but moving all of our stuff has taken the sting out of that. Most of our big furniture and extras, like camping gear, are nearby in a storage unit but I'm glad of all the stupid little things (like trash cans) that we don't have to go out and find. Everything made it in one piece. I think the only thing that got even slightly scuffed was our dresser, which is an ikea one, we'll probably eventually replace anyhow. Overall, I was really pleased with the Relocube experience.

I've covered everything I can think of! Sorry for the random, rambling nature of this post