Archive for December, 2011

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Three Things Thursday: Post-Vacation Edition

December 29, 2011

I had a pretty amazing vacation to Abu Dhabi, UAE, to visit my parents for Christmas. Here are three loosely-related things for Thursday.

1. Tuesday morning (or Monday evening if you’re in the United States) started my training for the Rock ‘n’ Roll USA Half Marathon. I flew back at 2:45am Wednesday morning after staying out and about all day Tuesday, and managed to go on a run today, too. Did my strategy to kick jet lag in the ass via Ambien work? Time will tell. My long run will be postponed this weekend (pushed to Monday which will make my weekly mileage for the next week amaze-balls) while I drink excessively at a wedding in Savannah rest up from some knee and hip pain. But the wedding is true, too. More about my training in the new year, but I am mostly following Hal Higdon. Minus a little pain that I’m working through, so far so good.

2. Oh, eating healthy, how difficult you are while traveling…  I turned off tracking on Weight Watchers while I was gone, and, as predicted, I put on a few pounds. Apparently jet lag = ravenous. I’ll just go ahead and say this, though: all those dates, baklava, kofta, and labneh were absolutely worth it. I ate well and enjoyed my trip and ate sensibly almost never when I could. I’ll be back on track post-New Years travel, and I look forward to trying out the new Weight Watchers app, described and reviewed by my old co-worker.

UAE Christmas

So....I may not have watched what I ate very well, but look at how much fun I had! Go UAE!

3. At the request of my favorite Coach, here’s an anecdote from my trip: my family went to Dubai on my first full day there. We were looking for some specialty souks, and got pretty turned around. Our research on the area of town we were in was lacking, and it seemed pretty sketchy, but overall, the country is very safe, and my family is street- and foreign-country smart. Well, I thought we were. We’re walking along and my sister asks to find a restroom. My dad asks a guy on the street, who starts telling him about his shop, which is just down the street from the public restroom in this less-than-tourist part of town. He’s really chatting up my dad, and my dad, being the polite soul that he is, is inquiring about the shop, where it is, what he sells, etc. The man tells him about all the purses and sunglasses he has, and my dad recalls to the man that me, his oldest daughter, was just saying that she needed some new sunglasses, so this is perfect. My mom, sister, and I come out of the bathroom to find my dad still talking to the man. I have no interest in seeing his shop, but my dad, again, the most polite man ever, agrees to follow the man to his shop.

As we turn into a shady looking apartment building and wind down a narrow, dank hallway, I’m pretty sure I’m starring in a horror movie. That’s how they start, right? I’m debating yelling at my dad in German, assuming that this man might know what I’m saying in English, but he can’t possibly know what I’m saying in German, but then figure that his response will come in perfect German and will be something like, “You silly American. Of course I speak and understand German. Now, please, enter into my house of horrors.” So I just kept my mouth shut as he knocked, in a strange pattern, on an apartment door. We enter a very small room and the door is locked behind us. There are two other men in the room and an Indian couple looking at purses. It’s crowded, full of the type of goods Customs doesn’t look kindly upon, and really doesn’t have anything that I want. But now there are three men trying to show me every pair of sunglasses in the room. And my dad is saying, “You sure there’s nothing you want? Look, these ones are from Prada!”

Fortunately we were able to politely bow out. Never. taking. my. dad. shopping. again.

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Weekend Update: Belated International Edition

December 26, 2011

Yikes! A day late on my weekend update, but I hope my international travels can serve as an acceptable excuse.

So, I’m writing from my parents’ house in Abu Dhabi. It’s…interesting! I’m having a great trip, but my mind has been blown several times. There is resounding cognitive dissonance in seeing massive Tim Hortons billboards on the drive into Dubai, a TGI Friday’s in Al Ain, and Honey Crisp apples from the U.S. in grocery stores all over Abu Dhabi. If you didn’t believe in globalization before, believe friends, believe. There’s so much I could write about, but there’s family time to be had, so just a quick update!

Weekly wrap-up for December 19-25:

Training Mode: Maintenance

You can run and tell that (code for: how many miles I logged): 10.2 miles (including 6.2 with my dad on the Home for the Holidays Virtual 10K…yep, from the UAE!)

UAE 10K

It's not a proper "virtual 10K" without a bib!

Busted more moves: Do walking laps around Heathrow on a long layover count as…anything?

Busted body: A little pain in my right hip post-run. Really digging Figure 4s for this.

Ear candy o’ the week: We did a little hiking and hanging out on Jebel Hafeet, a mountain outside of Al Ain, and the whole time I had “New Speedway Boogie” from the Dead stuck in my head. Pretty sure that’s not going to make you want to run, but you might want some nachos and a couch to chill on…?

The takeaway: I am incredibly grateful to live in a country where it’s not strange for women to run. The UAE is incredibly progressive and it wasn’t a big deal for me to go running, but I still felt like I got a few strange looks while out running (which, really, I’d stare at a big redhead barreling down the sidewalk too, no matter the country). And I imagine that it would be even more difficult to run freely in the other countries of this region.

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It’s a Wu-nderful Day!

December 21, 2011

I have to give a birthday shout-out to Mimi over at It’s a Wu-nderful Life! Happy Birthday, Coach! Check out her blog for stories of training for the ING NYC Marathon. I owe much of my running motivation (and blogging inspiration) to this badass runner girl. This morning’s last minute, pre-flight run is for you!

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Running Halfway Around the World

December 21, 2011

Several months ago my parents moved to Abu Dhabi. It’s a little weird, and I’m still getting used to not being able to pick up the phone and call them any time. This is pretty standard fare for my family, though, and we’re close in spite of the distance.

In what can only be described as surreal, I’m flying to Abu Dhabi tomorrow. And when I get back, I’m driving from DC to Savannah, GA. So much travel, so little time, so…how the hell am I going to get in some workouts?

There will be some laps (walking) in Heathrow and some stretching and strengthening in my parents’ living room. And I’m pretty psyched to have enlisted my dad to drag my butt running through Abu Dhabi. It’s a rare thing of beauty that I’m choosing to run on a vacation, but I like it. And I like the idea of running halfway around the world. (Like that ambiguity?)

File:AbuDhabi06.JPG

Maybe I'll run here? (Used under a Creative Commons license, photo by Rüdiger Meier.)

I have no idea how jet lag is going to affect me, my desire to run, or my ability to run, but life’s a journey, right? And now, thanks to some awesome running bloggers, I have motivation to get out there on the Gulf and run: I’m registered for a virtual 10K. The timing couldn’t be better as I start half marathon training while I’m traveling (!).

I expect a crazy next two weeks, but who doesn’t like a little crazy? I’m turning off tracking my food for WW; I figured it would be an added level of stress that I didn’t need. Doesn’t mean I won’t think about what I’m eating and whether or not I feel full, but this is a good opportunity to test my improved eating habits…and stretch my running repertoire.

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Weekend Update: Inaugural Edition

December 19, 2011

Here’s my weekly wrap-up for December 12-18.

Training Mode: Maintenance

You can run and tell that (code for: how many miles I logged): 7 miles

Busted more moves: one yoga class, some ab work, one weights class (BodyPump, which sadly is not led by Hans und Franz, although the instructors are always very nice)

Busted body: tight IT band in my right leg. It’s always the right. Prescription? More foam roller.

Ear candy o’ the week: T.I. feat. Rhianna – Live Your Life (I turned 30 and became philosophical…this now dominates my running mix, which, I should clarify, I use more for listening to while changing into running gear. I only run with an iPod if I’m on a treadmill.)

The takeaway: Focused on how my foot hits the ground with each stride and adjusted a little, aiming for a midsole strike instead of a heel strike. Result: improved pace! Light and springy feeling! Kittens and puppies! Shazam!

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Welcome to Racy Stacie!

December 17, 2011

Hello and welcome! I’ll be chronicling the training for my first half marathon via this blog. Thanks for stopping by; I’m glad to have you along on this journey. And, please share your own tips and experiences in the comments or by emailing me.