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Posts Tagged ‘lifestyle’

Fool me once . . .  shame on you.

Fool me twice . . .  shame on me.

I ran my second marathon today in Pittsburgh.  If you have never been to Pittsburgh, let me sum it up for you in one word:  HILLS.

There’s a Hill District.  There are the North Hills.  There are the South Hills.  Here a hill, there a hill, everywhere a hill hill.

I know it’s not possible to start at one elevation and end at the same elevation without equal amounts of going up and going down.

But I went up hill a lot more today than I went down.  I broke the laws of physics.  I don’t know how.  But I did.

Why did I run a second marathon?

Runners

The origin of the modern marathon is rooted in ancient Greek history.

In a nod to Greek history, the first marathon commemorated the run of the soldier Pheidippides from a battlefield near the town of Marathon, Greece, to Athens in 490 B.C.

Apparently stupidity “ran” rampant even in 490 B.C.  (See what I did there?)  And history apparently repeats itself.  I ran a second marathon.  Shame on me.

What is often forgotten in that historic legend is this:

Pheidippides ran the approximately 25 miles to announce the defeat of the Persians to some anxious Athenians. Not quite in mid-season shape, he delivered the message “Niki!” (Victory!) then keeled over and died.

He DIED!  I obviously trained better than he did, as I have survived.  Barely.  I am walking with a limp.  I’ve been having some Achilles tendon problems (another Greek myth/legend!  Damn those Greeks!  Damn them all to Hades!)  And like any obsessed devoted runner I more or less ignored it.  Most days the discomfort went away after 1-2 miles.  I didn’t rest, ice, compress or elevate.  I ran through the pain.  I loosened it up!

It does not feel loosened up after 26.2 miles. What the Frick in Pittsburgh was I thinking?!

My heel is angry with me.  It is punishing me.  I would kick it if I could but it hurts too much to do that.

Notes from the race:

Despite the pain, I finished in 4:17:59.  Good for 52nd place in the 50-54 division.  For what it’s worth, I ran in the Asics Gel Nimbus 19 today.  I ran in the Brooks Ghost 9 in Philadelphia.  Think I preferred the Brooks, but the data may be complicated by my Achilles issue.

There was a threat of rain but it never rained.  With an average temperature of 55 degrees and no burning sun, it was actually a great day to run.

With the threat of rain, however, I thought the crowd turn out was a little less than in recent years.  I didn’t actually count them, but it seemed like there were fewer people cheering me on.  The energy level just seemed more subdued.  Maybe I was distracted by my pain.

No really memorable signs along the way.  May the Course be with you.  Liked that.  The “If Donald Trump can run so can you” signs were out in full force.  It was funny.  Give it a rest.  Maybe you should tweak it . . . “If Donald Trump can WIN, so can you!”  Also, the “This is the worst parade ever!” and “Did you think they said RUM?” signs are a little passe.  One lady who I kept passing for some reason on and off–one of us was time warping–had a shirt that read “Have you hugged your lawyer today?”  I have not.

I’m not saying I will never run another marathon, but I may need to be senile to do that.

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You would think that with those long legs I would win every race!

Shadow

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My track record with dining out at restaurants is not impressive.

I once tried to order a 99 cent Whopper at Wendy’s.  I had it in my mind–I saw the advertisement for 99 cent whoppers and had to have one–but apparently Wendy’s won’t let me have it my way.  I paid more than 99 cents for a burger that was NOT a whopper.

I ordered coconut shrimp and lobster at Outback–and ended up with an empty lobster tail.

I once paid $48 for a coke.  The drink–not the drug.

And there was a “fine dining” experience (you know, you go to a place where you can’t wear blue jeans and they require a tie) that involved bok choy, enoki mushrooms and consommé.  I still think they were making that shiitake up.

Today we were meeting my daughter at TGI Friday’s even though it is Sunday.  I’m sorry.  It throws me off balance as well.  It’s like going into Five Guys, and there are aren’t Five Guys behind the counter.  (I’m pretty sure one of them was a woman!)  But I digress.

She had given me a list of restaurant choices that she would be happy with and asked me to pick one.  I specifically picked Friday’s because they serve Kona Big Wave Golden Ale.

So when the waiter took our drink order, guess what I ordered?  Well he brought the other drinks out and said he had to get my Heaven in a glass from the bar.  Minutes later, he appears without my Golden Ale.  They are out of it.

I should have got up and left right then and there.  But I had already looked at the menu and saw a new Philly Steak Burger.  It comes with an egg roll on top!  I kid you not!  Someone asked themselves how you could make a burger even more unhealthy than it already is, and somebody came up with the idea of tacking on extra stuff outside the bun.  Brilliant!

SteakBurger

I want that!  So I ordered it.

THIS . . . is what I got.

MyBurger

Do you see an egg roll stapled to my bun?  Dude?  Where’s my egg roll?  Is this going to be like Outback all over again when the waiter argues that I already ate the lobster even though the tail shell was clearly empty!

He informs me they don’t have the egg rolls in stock.

I am so bummed I ended up drowning my sorrows in a half piece of Tennessee Whiskey Cake, because quite frankly, paying $8 for the full piece just seems like highway robbery.

After I got home, I was still stewing over not getting my Kona beer and then not getting the sandwich that was advertised.  It was then that I wondered if perhaps I paid for the sandwich with an egg roll but did not get the egg roll?  I also thought it might have been nice if the manager would have comped my dessert in lieu of payment for an egg roll that didn’t exist.

That’s when I discovered that CORY–our waiter, bless his little heart–had actually comped me my burger without telling me.  For the record, I did tip him well–I rounded up the 20% recommendation to make the number come out round, but that was based on the adjusted bill.  After all, it wasn’t his fault the bar was out of my beer and someone in purchasing forgot to order the egg rolls.

And now I feel worse.

I should have gone to Denny’s.

Oh wait,  That didn’t work out well for me either . . .

CoffeeCup

That’s my coffee . . .but that’s NOT my lipstick!

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So I was waiting in the waiting room (well, what else would you do in a waiting room?–it was done in the Waiting Room, by Colonel Mustard, with a Wrench . . .) and saw that the establishment was kind enough to offer coffee to their waiting patrons.

Alas,

Addwater

Where am I going to find water?

I turned around . . .

Aquarium

Voilà!

Alas . . .

fishinpot

The coffee looks a little weak.  I think Dory forgot something!

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I came across this advertisement on Facebook . . .

RunOver45
Seriously?  Are we supposed to think that runner is over 45?  I’m wondering if she’s even over 25!

And by the way, I am over 45, and I can run faster than a nine minute mile (especially if I am following her!)

I guess I should get the rate I deserve on life insurance!

And if you are over 45, you should probably ask your doctor if your heart is healthy enough to have running.

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I bought a new house the end of March.  It has a pool in the backyard.  I couldn’t wait to open it, but there was always that concern about what would await?  The pool hadn’t been opened in a couple of years.  Problem with the liner?  Pool pump that doesn’t work?  Lines that leak?  Dead body floating on the surface?

Sooo, anyone up for a swim?

pool

I keep expecting something like this to appear  . . .

4.0.1

The pool company opening the pool basically said there is nothing they can do.  Apparently there aren’t enough chemicals to make that water swimmable again.  They recommend draining it,  cleaning the liner, killing the creature,  and refilling it with something other than used motor oil.

Is it a pond or a pool?  We have a pond out back.  And a pool.  The pond would be better for you.

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It was supposed to be the trip of a lifetime.  A trip to remember.  And remember it we will.

We fly to Peru.  We hike the Salkantay Trail through the Andes Mountains, and arrive at Macchu Picchu.  What could possibly go wrong?

Never ask a question you don’t want to know the answer to.

We flew out of Baltimore to Miami via American Airlines.  From Miami we flew to Lima, Peru.  From Lima we flew to Cuzco, Peru, from which our (mis)adventure would begin.

Unfortunately, the airline did not tell us that we had to retrieve our luggage in Lima to go through customs before heading on to Cuzco.  The Cuzco airport is a domestic airport, and does not have customs.  While my girlfriend has had some experience in world travelling, this was my first time out of the land of E. Pluribus Unum (unless you count a driving day trip to Canada via Maine back in the early nineties when you didn’t need a passport to cross the border.)  I have never flown outside of the United States before so how would I be expected to know this.  Dammit, Jim!  I’m just a doctor!

As we waited in Cuzco for our luggage which never came, the error of our ways became apparent.  A few phone calls confirmed that our luggage–along with most of our hiking equipment, was enjoying the scenery in Lima, not Cuzco.

Here is the view as we left the airport in Cuzco:

img_0414

Now, I don’t know about you, but this is not what I would consider a “vacation view.”  This is a vacation:

img_0056

Fortunately,  our tour company flies masochists hikers in a couple of days ahead of the trek to allow them to acclimate to the altitude.  So we had from Sunday afternoon to Tuesday morning to somehow retrieve our luggage.  Paperwork was reluctantly completed.  In Spanish.   People frowned. In Spanish.  We tried to keep smiling.  The travel agency put in a good word for us.  Apparently, we are not the first pioneers to show up without luggage.

It’s not as though we couldn’t rent equipment. We could.  But we had already invested money in new sleeping bags, backpacks and air mattresses prior to leaving on this trip.  It made no sense that they sit in Lima having a better time than we were.  This was a matter of principle.

So we tried to enjoy some tours of Cuzco and learn about the ancient Incas, while the airline industry took their good old time saving our trip of a lifetime.  Most of my clothes were on the checked luggage because I hate toting heavy carry-ons through an airport.  I paid dearly for my laziness.

I had to wear one of my girlfriend’s coats, as my outer gear was in the lost luggage.  It wasn’t pink, but a brighter purple than I would have ordinarily opted for. And her hiking pants were a little tighter than socially acceptable I suppose.  People kept asking her who her muchacha (Spanish for young lady or maybe cross dresser I’m not really sure) was.  I was apparently abused but not amused.

The hotel we lodged at was quaint and had a European flair.  Don’t ask me how I know since I’ve never been to Europe, but dammit I do watch movies.  It’s probably the Spanish influence.  But I was somewhat confused by the fact that you couldn’t throw toilet paper in the toilet.

img_0567

Each bathroom had a little trashcan sitting on the floor to dispose of toilet tissue, etc.  Seriously?  Help us protect the environment?  Did you just see what I flushed out of my system?  And you’re worried about some paper?

Time ticked by and at nine o’clock Monday night we finally get our luggage and hiking gear.  We were scheduled to leave at 3 am the next morning because they apparently close the only road that leads to the base of the trail at 7 am for road construction and we have to get past checkpoint Charlie before the window of opportunity closes.

Only ONE road in . . .

 

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