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Monday, November 11, 2013

Hi there! A plethora of topics as I put off doing *real* work.

 Eventually I'll get to this (my list of draft post ideas)

 But since there's ANOTHER list of school assignments due this lovely 3 day weekend, I'm going to do a quick update and then it's off to do things like "learn enough crap that I don't make a miserable vet in 18 months".

Isn't that reassuring?

All week I waffled between "do I have a cold?" or "do I have really bad allergies"?  Now, some of you might say poTATo, poTAHTo - but it's an important distinction.

The golden rule of interval training and avoiding injury and sickness is to NOT work out when you are sore or on the brink of being sick.

You can ignore that golden rule like I did when I first started long distance running and spend most of your time
a. injured
b. about to be injured
c. recovering from an injury

AND as a bonus predictably get whatever bug was going around in the first couple weeks of fall marathon training, or right after your marathon or big race. 

No thank you.  I'd like to think after more than a decade of endurance running that I've FINALLY started to learn from my mistakes. And MAYBE after more than a decade of running, I will be able to run CONSISTENTLY for a year or two and actually accomplish cool stuff, instead of running in 3 month spurts and alternating between injured and sick.

Allergies means that I continue interval running as usual. A push-myself-to-the-brink-of-puking interval work out is not likely to take allergies and turn into something more nasty through immune suppression.  HOWEVER, Cold = taking time off from stressful interval training until the worst is over.

Four days ago I *thought* it was allergies, but now I'm pretty sure I'm recovering from the last of a cold. *sigh*. I guess no sleep, and major stress in school does not go unpunished.

In addition to making it hard to hear or talk, the congestion in my head is also making it near impossible to write or talk coherently.  A fun fact when the school assignments in the docket are short essays, and what I REALLY want to do is knock off some of those blog post topics that have been floating around for a while.

So instead I did *useful* things like this:

1. Set up my snowboarding stuff for the upcoming season. 

Board still looks awesome?  Check
Pants and jacket still fit? Check
Helmet still in serviceable shape? Check
Can locate BOTH members of the pair of gloves and snowboarding socks? Check
Still in possession of a thrift store pair of goggles? Check

Tess thought the purpose of my crouching down to take a picture of my ultra cool set up was to jump over the board and pounce on me. This is one of a series of ~10 pictures in which she is:

a. chewing on my boots and bindings
b. trying to do a handstand on my board
c. leaping over the board like an agility obstacle
b. licking my face

Having a cold means that I have a very bored, very naughty Brittany.

You can't tell from the picture, but my boots are LEOPARD PRINT. Here's the story.

Last year Matt and I ordered our gear on line and the board was the first to get picked out - for those of you not familiar with snowboards, there's lots of different brands, models, lengths etc, BUT at the end (especially if you are a short female) only 1-2 boards usually that will work. So, whatever my feelings on color (pink/purple) and design (faces with cameras) this was *my* board.

The type of bindings were dictated by the board, so I ignored them for now, and focused on boots.

Fun fact for you non-snowboarders.  Every year companies come out with new color and designs for their equipment, so if you are willing to go with last years fashion, you can get some good gear for a decent price!

For example, my snazzy board is a 2010/2011 season model, that I bought in the 2012/2013 season. Whoo hoo!

I did some research to see what Burton (the brand of board and bindings) recommended as the "best" boot for this board/binding combo for going down the mountain and come up with the line of boots and went looking for a deal on a previous year color.

I had two choices - leopard print and black.

There was a time in my life that I would have chosen black without blinking.

That was the time BEFORE I was an endurance rider. I was a safe, self-conscious dresser that errored on the side of darker colors that wouldn't draw attention to myself, and my equipment reflected that.  Nice, safe, traditional color combinations.

And then I learned that colors and patterns could be FUN. And I learned to be brave and not give a sh*t and spend more time having fun and less time worrying about appearances.

The arrangement was that Matt would buy my bindings and board and I would buy my boots. Which meant when I picked out my boots, it resulted a raised eye brows and expressions of doubt ("are you *sure*?") but no real argument.

On to the bindings.  Glory Be!!!!!  They have my bindings in a previous season color!  Again, my options are a nice safe black, OR a GLORIOUS lime green.

I'm not sure how I knew that the lime green would be THE THING that would seemlessly meld leopard boots and a purple/pink board, but I KNEW.

The difficult thing was convincing the person that was actually paying for the bindings.

Finally, resigned to the fate of having to be seen with the gaudiest dressed women on the slopes, he bought them for me.

And when all three pieces came and we put it together, we stood there in SHOCK of how AWESOME it looks. And everyone who sees it agrees.

I of course paired it with an awesome purple plaid jacket (another previous season find) and black pants and helmet and I am READY to bruise a tail bone! 

Of course, I've been busy doing other things too.

2. I finally, after more than a month of being moved in, set up another 2 rooms - the work out room and office.

Finally, both are serviceable.

Not completely done, but serviceable.

 A vital piece of equipment that belongs in one of those two rooms, my beloved treadmill/treaddesk, unfortunately is NOT.

I realized one day I was doing WAY too much sitting. Part of the issue was I hadn't elevated and set up my desk to standing height.  That taken care of, I decided the next step was to either organize the garage to the point where I wanted to use the treadmill to watch movies etc out there, or move the treadmill into the newly set up (very tiny) work out room.

I decided it was less work to move the treadmill.

Although in retrospect, perhaps I errored in that assessment.

As fellow blogger Aurora put it so succinctly on Facebook, I failed at house Tetris.

 The door behind the treadmill is the garage. The treadmill is neatly positioned in the laundry room.

The bad news. To actually exit out the garage, I have to climb through the treadmill, squeeze between the washer and the treadmill and elevate the platform to the storage position. I can then exit through the door. To get back into the house I have to reverse the process - close the door, stand next to the washer, lower the platform back down, crawl through the front.

The good news!  I was able to do a hill interval workout!  And watch a movie while walking. Not to mention the extra security of having a treadmill in front of a door right? Because that door ain't opening as long as that treadmill is down!

Overall we can consider this a success I think.

I did have to warn Matt before he got home with a text that started out: "Please don't be mad but...."

3. A friend gave me these AWESOME food kits - I love them. At 350 calories I can keep them in my backpack, car whatever as a "oh crap I'm in town and now I'm hungry" emergency food, instead of trying to find something in town that is wheat free and protein dense. They may also provide the answer of "what to eat for lunch while backpacking" or for that first night on the trail when I invariably have a screaming migraine. I'll make some version of my own with my food saver, but sometimes it's nice to have something ready to grab. These won't work for endurance rides since jerky is completely unpalatable for me on horse back, but it's a definitely possibility for running and other non-horse trail adventures.
I think I have now wasted enough time talking about random things that I can go do something productive like write school essays. And maybe you will see me back today with a post off my list - and maybe in a couple of days :).


  1. Hahaha I *love* your snowboard stuff. Isn't it the most gloriously liberating feeling in the world to buy fun colors because you just don't care what other people think??

  2. Totally. And that whole idea/fact of life goes with me piercing my ears and deciding that the tattoo IS GOING TO HAPPEN. That idea that the goal of life ISN'T going through it with elegance and perfection and trying to keep my body and stuff around me "perfect" - it's to be colorful and wild and FUN. What's funny is that I've gotten more brave as I've gotten older and think less about "long term circumstances". When I was younger the argument against getting a tattoo of "it will look crappy when you are old and in a nursing home" actually worked. Now I hear that argument and my thought is "who the hell CARES?". It's not something that's going to shorten my quality of life when I'm old and I'm SO OVER the whole "look as good as you can when you are ninety" and instead really hope that my mind is good and my body is functional, and whether I get a tattoo now doesn't affect either of those things ya know?

  3. When I got my tatt, my little brother said (sarcastically), "yeah, THAT is gonna look awesome in the nursing home someday."

    And I'm thinking, "hey, any nursing home that will take me is going to be full of fun people with even better ink!"

  4. I admire your creativity and motivation, but if I put a treadmill in my laundry room, I would both never work out AND never do laundry!

    As far as the tattoo not looking good when you're in a nursing home, number 1, you may never end up in a nursing home because you're so fit and colorful, and number 2, if you did end up in a nursing home, the tattoo would probably be a great conversation starter to help make new friends:)

  5. Snowboarder = must be outrageous with all the colors/patterns! Or at least that's what it means on the east coast! Come visit WV. I'll comp you some lift tickets! And provide you a free place to stay! And take you on a trail ride! And give you the insiders tour of my little part of the world. And I'm dog friendly. And you can bring the boy.

  6. Liz, I will absolutely take you up on that offer some day!! Probably not til clinics are over :(. But it would be awesome to see that part of the country in something other than your gorgeous pictures....

  7. Paleokits may be the answer for my dairy-free, soy-free, nitrite-free portable protein woes! Thank you so much for mentioning them.


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