Friday, July 29, 2011

Food and Fit Updates

Since the Tavern triathlon, I've continued to cross-train and enjoy my time off. This past weekend, John and I had an activity-filled weekend. To start, we hit up SEAL team practice on Saturday morning. I have done SEAL team and X team training in the past, so I was excited when they offered a deal on Living Social that's more affordable then joining the full program. I wish I could afford it because I had a blast. Afterwards, we biked to the South of the James farmer's market and back. All of this before brunch. It felt great to be so productive and active first thing in the morning. And the bloody mary that followed was a great reward too. On Sunday, we started the morning off with the same energy, except this time we hit the road on our bikes for about 10 miles or so, then ran a mile downto the James River by Huguenot Flats. We decided to swim across the river and back. I'd say it was about 300-400 meters across, but Icould be off. We ran back afterwards, finishing our morning workout. I enjoyed this type of workout very much. Lots of variety and interesting things to see and do. Sunday brunch was even more tastier as a result. I took John to Kuba Kuba down in the fan. He had never been before and we both were craving California huevos rancheros, the best thing ontheir menu besides the tres leches cake. I even tried to re-create it this morning, which was pretty good but definitely not the same.

Admits all the intense workouts over the weekend, Monday morning did not bring good things. I had slightly rolled my ankle on the run the day before, so when we went on our usual 4 mile loop to Pony Pasture and back Monday morning, it started to act up. On top of that, my back has been off for a couple of months now. It keeps flaring up here and there and I'm unable to move my lower back for 2-3 days. I know I should listen to my Dad when he says I honestly have to rest longer in order for my back muscles to completely heal, but I don't want to listen. I've got the Merrell Down and Dirty 10k coming up in 3 weeks, and rest is not an option. But I guess should take my injury more seriously if I don't want to screw anything up permanently. I'll keep you posted on how it turns out.

So back to the food it is... This past
Thursday, a few of my UVA girlfriends went out for dinner and drinks at Blue Goat, a new restaurant on Grove Avenue, owned by the same guys who run Osaka, Sushi O, and Wild Ginger. I had heard mixed reviews so far, and I was dying to try it out myself. The atmosphere and location are excellent. The food was quite good too. I am not sure I would go back for a full-meal, but definitely a great bar scene to enjoy appetizers and cocktails. The ravioli was my favorite, followed by the fries with pork dust. I wasn't a fan of the pork cheeks, and the pig tail gorgonzola polenta had a weird gravy that overwhelmed the rest of the flavors I was looking for. Otherwise, I had a blast and I can foresee Blue Goat being the next big bar scene in the near west end.

Friday night I took my best friend to Lady Nawlins (thank you Living Social once again) for dinner and drinks. I love raw oysters so that was a great start to the meal. We split the sampler platter of jumbalaya, gumbo, and red beans and rice with shrimp. It was the perfect amount of food to split with someone and tasted great. Exactly what I wanted. We hung out at the bar after dinner and enjoyed a few drinks courtesy of Jack Laughterback. It was a nice evening out in the fan - haven't done that in a while.

So - what has the rest of the weekend brought? Other than work and back pain, I enjoyed a wonderful day at the beach with Brett, John and Nanny. We headed down to VA beach Saturday morning with no traffic. We had the best time playing on the beach near 31st street next to the Hilton. My favorite lunch spot during high school beach week was a sandwich deli shop called Taste Unlimited. John and I walked to 36th where we picked up a few "Northenders" and enjoyed our lunch on the beach. I of course had to buy the house dressing to take home. It's delicious. Our ride home had no traffic either. The other side of 64 was at a standstill. How lucky are we?

Tonight I made steak fajitas and I'm currently enjoying a glass of wine on the back deck while Brett and John play golf in the yard. Life's pretty good.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

I Love the Tavern Triathlon

I've got to work on updating my blog more often but so many other things come up that take priority. For starters, work has been super busy. I'm studying to become a PMP this year and OPEX Blue Belt certified. It's hard work but I absolutely love it. I just hope I do well and learn a lot.

On a personal note, I'm all moved in, and just got back from a wonderful family vacation down in Ft. Myers, Florida. John and I flew down last Wednesday thru Tuesday to celebrate the long holiday weekend. We read a lot, went on morning runs, played tennis at the club, went on the boat, went to the club pool, and enjoyed many tropical drinks and incredible seafood. It was a blast and very relaxing. I didn't bring my work laptop and for the first time, I was somewhat disconnected from work-hurray!

On the fitness front... I successfully completed my first open water triathlon 2 weeks ago! I was great. I loved the open water swim in the James River. The water temp was 83 degrees and outside it was only 66 by the time the race started at 7am. You could see the steam on the surface of the river just before the race. This year they reduced the swim distance to 400 meters but extended the bike to 18.5 miles. Fine by me since my swimming isn't all that great. In fact, I'm pretty bad. The bike ride was beautiful... Mostly country road with farms and animals; plenty of hills and one gigantic hill at the turn-around point that honestly took my breath away. I thought I was going to have to walk my bike up the hill because I was pedaling so slow - but I made it!

The run was a trail run thank god. I love trail running so as soon as I hit the 5k, I was in heaven. And by heaven I mean I couldn't feel my legs at all, but I somehow managed to grit through it. When I came out of the woods and saw the finish line, I was happy as a lark. Or insane from exhaustion as you can see I'm smiling like crazy in my running photo. All in all, it was a great race and I can't wait to do it again next year. The atmosphere is friendly and casual, with lots of athletes from all levels. I felt very comfortable and welcomed. I highly recommend this race to anyone!