These Feet Were Made for Walkin’

Yesterday was dedicated to just kind of hanging around Copenhagen and wandering the streets like a tourist. I ended up in the gay district. I knew immediately I was there because of the karaoke bar and all the rainbow flags. But if I’d had any question about it, I am sure I could have popped in either of these locations and gotten it straightened (or gayed?) out:img_2721.jpg

I kept wandering around the streets. It was a lovely day and even got up to a balmy 70 degrees. It seemed to me everyone was on the streets drinking a beer and smoking cigarettes. I eventually wandered into the super-touristy shopping area.IMG_2729 I took a picture of this bench because it says peckerhead on it. My 15 second Google search turned up a potential band name with a song called Copenhagen Bloodbank. But Dictionary.com says it’s a term for an asshole or a jerk. Apparently, it is also a term for a motor termination box (whatever that means). It wasn’t until I posted this picture here that I noticed the dude in the picture is wearing a CrossFit shirt. Unrelated, I am sure.

I was actually on a mission. I love knitting and thought it would be cool to go to a Copenhagen knitting store and fondle or possibly buy some yarn. I turned the corner headed toward where Google maps said my shop was and I saw this:

IMG_2727I imagine this is like a Segway tour. Do you think they have you walk the Great Danes or ride them on the tour? I peaked in the window and saw no dogs.

Practically next door was my knitting shop. Apparently it’s not just the dogs that are larger in Copenhagen.

IMG_2728This is one kilo of yarn. Also, look at the size on the needle they recommend, they ran out of numbers and just put a Great Dane on it. Andrew, let’s get a snow leopard kitten – I have just the yarn for it to play with. In other news, I had to buy an extra seat on my plane ride home…

After all the walking and running I have done here, my feet are in need of some TLC. I looked around for a pedicure place and there was one just a few blocks away.

When I was a little baby I use to make fish faces with my mouth and my nickname became fish face. Eventually, that was shortened to “fish” – this makes my ComedySportz nickname of Hadas “Tuna” Cassorla even a little more special to me.

IMG_2733IMG_2732Now as an adult, I have become fish food. This is something I have always wanted to try. It feels ticklish at first. Then it’s just odd. I did 40 minutes, which was 20 minutes longer than its novelty appeal. While soaking in it I did some Googling to discover why these bone fish eat people. I found no answers, just that they do. Also, apparently, this type of treatment has stopped being available in many places because of sanitary concerns, but so far my feet haven’t fallen off. And if they do, I will likely just blame it on all the walking I have done around town.

Iceland Day 3, and the rest

You know how on Gilligan’s Island for the first season the theme song went “…with Gilligan, the Skipper too, the Millionaire and his wife, the movie star and the rest…” the rest, like the two other people, which is SO MUCH MORE than the five we’ve already named so now it’s just THE REST. Eventually they changed it to “the Professor and Maryann.” But it still bugs me that it started off as the rest. Were there plans for others? Were there others on the ship that just didn’t make it? Or were they planning on killing off the Professor and Maryann?

Andrew and I went to Husavik to go whale watching and as he was buying tickets the lady at the counter attempted to warn us off from purchasing them or from getting on the boat. “This isn’t a good day. The swells are already 2 meters and it’s only going to get worse. People are having sea sickness and it’s foggy so you can’t see the horizon which only makes it worse”. It was like the part in a scary movie where people are moving into the house and the house says, “GET OUT” and the people are like – oh, that’s probably not even a thing…

I did go and buy some liquid sea sickness tincture at the apothecary which Andrew and I each took. When we got to the boat the woman who would be our guide warned us not to get on because the swells were 2 meters and there was fog and sea sickness. We got on. Already we were bundled up, but then we put on the coveralls and rain jackets that were provided with the tour. I asked Andrew about how long the trip was. “It’s a three hour tour.” A THREE HOUR TOUR!!!

I decided right there and then that I was going to be the Movie Star in Gilligan’s Iceland, because I was certainly not going to be anyone’s wife, and I did not want to be “and the rest”. Andrew opted for the Millionaire, so I started scoping the boat for a good selection for his wife and away we sailed (after a thorough search with the only candidate being a possibly single woman with the brattiest girl in the world as her daughter, we decided he’d make a better the Professor).

About an hour into the tour the guide got super excited because a bird flew by. It was The Last Puffin (which is the working title of a kid’s book I’m writing – or possibly an anti-smoking pamphlet). Puffins migrate at the end of summer and generally all at once. They left Iceland a week before we showed up and this one had not gotten the memo.

Maybe another 20 minutes in and the guide stated with glee, “Over at 10 o’clock. Over at 10 o’clock!” We’d been taught to think of the boat as a clock with the bow being 12 o’clock and the stern 6 o’clock and all the other numbers approximated between. I was already situated at 9 o’clock and didn’t have to move. But a lot of my shipmates did have to lurch over to my side of the ship. And then I saw it. A fellow traveler at 10 o’clock hurling over the side. I also saw the whale that was being pointed out, but the vomiting was a bit of a distraction. My sister used to be an EMT and my mother was a nurse and they always said that everyone has their bodily fluid that they cannot handle – for some it’s blood, others it poo, for me it’s vomit. It’s disgusting and even talking about it makes me reach for the sea sickness tincture. But there’s this man right in front of me on the ship not really thinking about anything other than “maybe I should have said no to the lox for breakfast.”

Ultimately, he and about half the boat went to the back of the ship (where it’s relatively calmer) as the seas got crazier and the whale watching more intense. We saw humpback whales, two of them, swimming and eating and diving right with each other. This is relatively uncommon as the humpbacks are usually solitary. They would dive for about 8 minutes then come up and breathe a few times before diving again. It was pretty cool. Then, just as I started getting too cold and tired for it all we started heading back and were served hot chocolate (to those who could stomach it). We got back to the dock, peeled off our clothes and went to find some hot food. I was relieved the three hour tour was only three hours and not three seasons.

Whale watching was surprisingly exhausting.

The next day we drove around the Northern Iceland area. There are crater-like mounds that were created by hot lava hitting land that had cold water in it.

These crater-mounds surround a lake. The scenery is gorgeous and my camera is not doing it justice.

These crater-mounds surround a lake. The scenery is gorgeous and my camera is not doing it justice.

There was lots of horses and some more sheep.

Then after touring around we found our second hot springs. This one too was man made and more of a warm springs. That didn’t deter us from spending about an hour and a half in the water. We went home ready for napping.

We stopped by the grocery for some food. Surprisingly, for a Scandanavian country, they still had carts that were Andrew sized. Apparently, Andrew is the approximate size of an average Icelandic toddler.

We stopped by the grocery for some food. Surprisingly, for a Scandanavian country, they still had carts that were Andrew sized. Apparently, Andrew is the approximate size of an average Icelandic toddler.

After a light nap and some dinner we went out on the town. As we were about to leave the bar I learned they were having pub quiz in only 30 minutes. I sat back down and told Andrew we were staying. Over the next half hour every human between the age of 16 and 25 in town was in the pub. Andrew and I were the oldest people in the bar. It got so full I decided the excitement of Icelandic trivia was outweighed by the quiet and peace of the house we were staying in and the promise of more knitting. Well, this is not my 40th birthday present for nothing, it was time for my Metamucil.

The next day we drove back to Reykjavik.

During all of our driving and for some time each evening, I was knitting the sweater pattern that I had picked up in Alafoss on our way up to Akureyri. By Friday night I had joined the sleeves to the body and only had the decolletage and neck left to knit.

Saturday we wandered the streets of Reykjavic. Andrew guided us through research he’d done on the Interwebs and a snarky guidebook he’d found in the AirBnB that had commentary in it such as – if you are injured by someone in Iceland here are emergency things you might need, and also, consider your life choices and what got you into a fight in the first place. Before we left for our walkabout Andrew commented on my clothing choices out of concern for my warmth. I commented on his conversation choices out of concern for my independence. We left the house in good spirits and teased each other every time we had to remove or add a layer of clothing. Overall, though, the weather was lovely and despite his posts to the contrary, I packed and dressed exactly right during our time here. Our walk through Reykjavic was scenic and included the infamous Icelandic hot dog which tasted like a hot dog with bonus lamb meat. I had about 2/3s of one, Andrew had about 2/3 of a lamb.

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The mountains in the background had rolling clouds on them adding amazing drama to the picturesque European buildings.

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Andrew “smiling”

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Icelanders are into their bathing. Not just hot springs but also pools. Our first night in Akureyri our landlord invited us to the pool with him – which at the time I thought was a bit weird. During our drives I was doing a lot of scenery watching and knitting so it was a while before I noticed that not only were there highway signs for gas, food, and lodging, but also signs for swimming pools.

Also seen here are signs for music, Animal husbandry, and emailing.

By the time we got back to Rejkyavic I realized what a culture of bathing it was and was ready to experience it. The pool in Reykjavic is huge. It is out doors and has a lap pool, a children’s lap pool, and a variety of hot tubs ranging in temperature and salinity. After testing out several, Andrew and I dozed lightly in the 38 (Celsius) degree saltwater offering with about 20 other people. I played a game of “American?” and in my head was basically singing the Madeline Kahn song in History of the World Part I, “Yes,  no, no, no, no, no, no. Yes, no…”

That evening we went home and I put the finishing touches on my Icelandic Lopi sweater.

I knit this in five days. Some days I had more time to spend on it than others. I would guess that total knitting time was 20 - 25 hours.

I knit this in five days. Some days I had more time to spend on it than others. I would guess that total knitting time was 20 – 25 hours.

And this is what I did in Iceland instead of blogging.

Sunday we drove the Golden Circle – again, self-guided. Some of the tours were 15 hours long and that sounded like an awfully long time to put up with people we don’t know when one of us is an introvert and the other one of us hates people (and one of us likes hot chocolate but only when one of us orders it for the other one of us and never has one of us order it for one of us selves – read Andrew’s FB photo-blog if you want to [kind of] understand this).

We got to the park where the tectonic plates are literally pulling apart from each other and there was not really that much to look at. I mean, the scenery was magnificent, but that’s par for the course around here. Apparently there is some interesting scuba diving available here, but the most interesting thing for us about scuba is Andrew’s fear trepidation anxiety concern worry aversion to getting his face in the water. We hopped back into the car and headed to Gullfoss (gold falls).

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I grew up in Niagara Falls and every weekend I would walk from my house to the falls and wander around Goat Island (sadly, there are no Goats on Goat Island). I was not expecting to be as awed by Gullfoss as I was (sadly, there is no gold at gold falls). They were mesmerizing and astonishing and breathtaking. We hiked all the way down to them and just sat for a bit.

Our next stop was Geysir (pronounced Kay-sir in Iceland, Gai-zer in America, and Gi-zer in retirement homes and England). Geysir is the original geyser that all other geysers take their name from. It is basically an occasionally spewing hot spring (insert your geyser spewing joke here) and has been active for 10,000 years (insert your geezer spewing joke here).

No jaunt around Iceland would be complete without a hot springs dip so off we went to Secret Lagoon. This hot spring, in Fludir, was probably the most natural we have bathed in. The water temperature was slightly more variable, there were fewer tourists and it seemed most of them were brought by an Icelander. Andrew is a great tour guide. I drove us home – having no knitting left to do. Andrew napped – having more than a half hour in a moving vehicle.

We had a nice dinner at Resto, a seafood restaurant about 3 minutes from our lodgings. Andrew turned his nose up at my fish soup because it smelled like fish. I questioned his taking me to a fish restaurant, and his upbringing in Alaska. Then we relaxed at home for a bit before taking a night stroll on the water.

Today is our last day here. Andrew worked out at CrossFit Reykjavic and now we are in a coffee shop relaxing, and one of us is catching up on blogging while the other one of us is drinking hot chocolate that one of us bought for the other one of us and now that one of us is done blogging one of us wants to go to the pool so that one or both of us can get our soak on.

Then we will find some dinner, pack up, and in the morning say bless (Icelandic for goodbye) to a lovely island.

Tomorrow we have a 7 hour layover in New York. I would like to reiterate my idea of airport karaoke to any enterprising entrepreneurs out there.

Weighing In

I used to wake up worried, the prior day’s shot of whiskey or splurge on a fro-yo hanging over me. Did I really have a quad tall breve latte? That’s a lot of lactose. How much fruit did I put in that smoothie? Was it enough to put me over? I remember being hungry at dinner, but did I really need that second helping? Before I step on the scale I should pee – pee probably weighs a lot, at least 2 pounds. And come to think of it, I did drink a lot of water so, probably, I will be “up” today anyway, just in water. I will do better today. No sugar, no milk, only protein and vegetables. I will Crossfit and go for a run and then come home and do yoga. I will drink a ton of water. I will sleep most of the day – sleep burns a ton of calories.

This was BEFORE I EVEN GOT OUT OF BED.

For a lot of my life, I used to be fat. At my heaviest, about 10 years ago, I was 5’6″ and 207 pounds.

I remember when I was in 5th grade my mother having a conversation with my sister about not knowing what to do with me because I was so fat and she was worried. Great, I thought, I am so fat that this is now a family problem. Throughout my life, I yo-yo’d constantly. But, always, I was afraid of food and the scale.

Recently, and I mean really recently – like over the past two weeks – something shifted.

I am no longer afraid of food. Nor am I afraid to enjoy the foods I eat. Nor am I afraid to occasionally over-indulge. Nor am I afraid of the scale. I now get out of bed and will sometimes weigh myself and sometimes not. Sometimes I even weigh myself after breakfast! Also, I want to thank Target for making stretch fabric pants that are still professional (read: not only for downward dog).

My scale hasn’t lied to me. I lied to myself about what the numbers mean. Now, when I step on the scale it isn’t to shame myself into being afraid of my food or sad about my body or as some sort of false motivational tactic. It is for me to use one of the many tools at my disposal to track my physique, health and objectives.

I am still 5’6″. But, now I weigh 165 pounds. This may still sound fat to some of you; however, I comfortably wear a size 8 but look real fine in a size 6. Last time I weighed 165 pounds I wore a size 12 but looked better in a 14.

And what I’ve learned over the past couple of weeks is that I am a sexy beast.

As the beast, I must keep up my food intake and understand that to have a squatter’s booty (as in one who squats as part of a workout, not one who sits on a piece of land until the law considers them an owner of it) requires muscle and muscle is dense and weighs a lot and muscle eats a lot too. In fact, I know that people think Crossfit is expensive, but more expensive than the gym is the increased grocery bill.

I have a booty. And I have thick quads and hamstrings (again, thank you Target for pants that fit). I can deadlift over 250 pounds. I can do pushups. I can do weighted dips. I don’t have a gap and I don’t want one.

As the sexy, my clothes remain tastefully (most of the time) skimpy.

The One For Knee

KT Tape (not to be confused with KT Tunstall) is a stretchy physio tape used to help sore muscles or tendons to heal. A roll of it has 20 strips, which as it turns out is the precise amount of strips one needs to recreate a right leg from glute to ankle.

One issue I am finding that makes KT Tape a bit difficult to wear is that I keep feeling like I have something in the back pocket of my jeans.

I am not really sure what is wrong with me or how it started, but potentially my hamstring or tendons in that area are over-worked and as such have started making me feel like I have runners knee. I know that running is not the cause of this runners knee feeling because one would have to actually run to have an injury caused by running.

I visited my chiropractor, Dr. Dave; he is amazing and made me feel much better with some focused and gentle (but intense) massage. He then told me to rest it for a few days. Having convinced myself that it was a torn meniscus from my initial visit to, and misdiagnosis by Dr. Google, I was overjoyed that I was not broken and, after Dave’s ministration, actually felt healed. I celebrated by heading to the gym and telling my coach that I needed to rest my hamstrings. Then I did a WOD that involved 2 miles of Airdyne (it may not look like much – but trust me it is brutish). Dave and I may have a different understanding of “rest”.

Not surprisingly, I sent a follow-up email to Dave saying that the healing he had given me was temporal (due to my interpretation of rest) and that I would need to come back – but after my Florida vacation. That’s when Dave sent me to the KT Tape site. He only had me do the hamstring one, but as I have been resting (read: working out lightly) other parts of my leg have been a little achy. 

My next appointment is Wednesday, by then I believe I will be in a full body cast made of KT Tape.

In unrelated news, I PR’ed my Romanian Deadlifts last night.

A Running Joke

Oops.

I may have just accidentally applied to be a lotto entry in the New York City marathon in November of this year.

I have been wanting to run a marathon for a few years now. Never enough to actually sign up for one. Much less to train for one. To date the longest run I have done was 14 miles – when I paced the first half of the Portland Marathon in 2013. I didn’t train for that one either. And I bonked. Hard. But, not until after I completed my commitment.

So now I am sitting here half hoping to get selected, half hoping to not get selected and all wondering several things:

Marathon questions –

I keep hearing people who train talk about tapering. What is this about? When I trained for my half marathons I just got up to 13.1 and was able to do that all the time. Considering there are people who run ultras and such, shouldn’t I be able to, in theory, just get up to 26.2 and run it every weekend?

I run on New Balance Zeros. Since they are a minimalist shoe do I still need to worry about wear on them and replace them after a certain mileage?

I don’t really eat many carbs, do I need to change that? Are you sure? What kind of nutritional information/science are you basing that on? When am I supposed to eat what? Am I putting too much thought into my diet considering I haven’t even decided how to train for this?

What kind of crazy am I?

There are a kazillion run-training programs out there. Should I use one? Should I use three of them? Is there a training program that includes Crossfit in it, because I don’t want to have to give up one for the other?

How much procrastination is good? Like I know waiting until the last week to train is a bad idea, but somewhere between then and now, when should I start training?

Why do I keep typing marathong instead of marathon? It’s not like I type the word thong all the time. What’s wrong with my typings?

I had to guess my pace for the race. I used a pace calculator. I normally run a 10k at about a 10 minute pace (except when I was running regularly it was more like 9:15) I averaged my pace for the marathon at 12/mile. But that had me coming in at just over 5 hours which seems awfully fast to me. Did I underestimate?

I don’t find out if I got in until 3/3/15. Will I be able to keep my sanity (to the extent I have it) until then?

If I get in will I be able to train up for the marathon with all the above answered (i.e. shoes, food, taper) and be ready for the marathon without having injured myself to the extent of not being able to actually run the thing?

 

If you know any of the answers to these questions, please share them with me!

Today’s WOD Brought to You by the Letter R

R as in Reserve Tank.

To prep for this WOD you must forget to flip your gas tank gauge from Reserve to Tank the last time you’ve filled up. Also, do this WOD in the early morning so that you are bundled up with a sweatshirt underneath your motorcycle riding gear for maximal sweat potential. Finally, be on your way to an important meeting in order to feel the high intensity levels of stress and adrenaline.

Warm-up:

Pull over on the side of the highway making sure you and your motorcycle are safe.

Angrily stomp around your motorcycle and pull your helmet off while shouting Fuck Fuck Fuck Fuck Fuck.

Text your boyfriend for sympathy.

One Round for time:

(Dressed in full motorcycle gear with 12lb backpack)

Hike 1.5 miles up Sylvan Hill (just off 26W) from Zoo exit to Sylvan exit.

Retrieve 1 gallon of gas. (this will require you to either pay $15 for a gas tank or to leave your drivers license to borrow the tank)

Angrily wonder why your boyfriend has not returned your text.

Hike back downhill with extra weight.

(expert tip: Find a location on your backpack to hang your helmet so that when one arm gets tired from carrying the gallon tank you can switch without spilling gas into your helmet. Don’t wait for spilling to have happened already, because just like with perfumes, when it comes to the scent of gasoline a little goes a long way.)

(It is not a DNF if a kind stranger gives you a ride for about a half mile from when he picks you up to the as close as he can get you to your bike).

Cool Down:

Walk from drop off spot to the motorcycle and put the gallon of gas into the gas tank.

Ride back to the gas station and fill up.

Retrieve your driver’s license and remember the gas guy is trying to be friendly not annoying.

Retrieve text message from boyfriend saying he got your message late and asking if you are OK.

Miss the exit onto the 26W on your way to work – which is fine because riding the back streets is probably more relaxing.

Have a good laugh at yourself with your coworkers.

I’m Bringing Klutzy Back

It’s not so much that nothing’s happened to me since I left Costa Rica… in fact a LOT has happened since then. But, most recently, the things that have happened actually fit in this blog.

About 3 months ago I accidentally tore my oblique while doing sit-ups. Just as I was given the all-clear by doctor, I got into a slight motorcycle accident (bike was totaled, I scraped my knee, bruised my hip and mildly tore muscles in my neck and shoulder). The doctor gave me the all-clear to start up workouts again yesterday.

One day, maybe before I turn 40 next year I will be able to complete a simple activity such as “walking down the completely empty sidewalk in the middle of the day with no obstacles and no drugs in my system on a sunny dry day” without spraining an ankle scuffing a knee and losing skin from my hand.

Today, was not that day.

Tomorrow is looking spurious.