Friday, September 30, 2011

Week-o-Vacationing 2011 Day 8: 1 Day, 2 Parks

Sunday morning, we got up, ate breakfast, and hit the road, headed north to Yellowstone National Park.  To get to Yellowstone from Jackson, you have to drive through a significant portion of Grand Tetons National Park (thankfully one admission fee covers both parks), so that was another first for me on this trip, seeing the Tetons.  We'd seen them off in the distance when we drove over from Rexburg, but driving through the park gave us some great opportunities to really take them in.

Loving the Tetons

Eventually we got to Yellowstone, and our plan was to just make the southern loop through the park and hit a few of the highlights there.  Some of the group had never been to Yellowstone before and it only seemed right to hit up Old Faithful. Unfortunately we got there about 15 minutes after it had gone off and as it's now a 90 minute wait between blasts, we had a fair amount of time to kill. So we ate lunch and hung out for a bit before eventually enjoying the geyser in all its glory.  Didn't seem quite as impressive as last time I was there, maybe because I'd seen it before or maybe because it just wasn't as high that day as the other time I'd seen it.

Group shot at Old Faithful

After we were finished there, we continued our clockwise route around the loop, stopping next at the Midway Geyser Basin, which I remembered seeing from the road last time I was in Yellowstone, but we hadn't stopped. There were a couple cool pools to look at with some really spectacular colors.

Excelsior Geyser
Excelsior Geyser

Onlookers @ Grand Prismatic Spring
People checking out the Grand Prismatic Spring

Group Shot @ Grand Prismatic Spring
Group shot at Grand Prismatic Spring

Edge of Grand Prismatic Spring
Grand Prismatic Spring

After that we continued our drive around the loop, keeping our eyes out for any wildlife, but not really seeing anything too impressive for most of the drive.  We made a few stops along the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone to check out the upper and lower falls, but not really hiking down to any of the viewpoints that I had enjoyed last time I was there.  Eventually we made our way around to the other side of the river to a place called Artist's Point that was a different view of the lower falls that I hadn't been to before, and we got some nice pictures there.

From Artist's Point
Group shot (minus myself) at Artist's Point

We finished off our stops at the Mud Volcano area, which I don't love, but it's a little different than some of the other places we'd been and does have the cool "Dragon's Mouth Spring" that I like.

On our way home, we finally came across a big herd of bison, actually outside of Yellowstone. Can't remember if they were in Grand Tetons or even outside of that park. They were fairly close to the road, but we didn't stop, and they were on the opposite side of the car from me so I didn't take any pictures of them.

We did make a couple final stops in Grand Tetons to take a few pictures.

Tetons over Jackson Lake
Grand Tetons over Jackson Lake

Anyway, another very full day and I was pretty ready for bed when we got back to camp.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Week-o-Vacationing Day 7 - Jackson Holy Cow!

I'm sure my loyal readers (are there any left after these last few boring posts?) will be excited to hear that after a two whole days of not really vacationing, I FINALLY got back to what I would call vacation on Saturday. We got up, ate breakfast at the Marriott and hit the road for Jackson Hole, Wyoming.  Home of numerous archways made of antlers.

We got to the camping area we had reserved around 11, planning to set up our tents and then head into to town, but unfortunately the folks running the camping area felt like for some reason they needed to have a sprinkler watering our entire campsite. So we just headed into town, leaving the tent set up for later.

Over in town, we walked around, got our picture taken with the aforementioned antler archway (it's on someone else's camera so you might just have to take my word for it. Or maybe I could just "borrow" it from their facebook page...), saw some other rustic looking buildings and scarfed down some burgers for lunch.

We had to hustle to get our lunch done because we had an appointment at 1 with some whitewater. We drove over to the offices of the rafting company (Mad River Boat Tours), signed away our lives, changed into our river clothes, and half an hour later or so, boarded a bus that took us down the river to where we'd be getting in.  There were 9 of us, and that was pretty much the perfect number to have our own raft to ourselves, along with our trusty river guide Brian. 

The river trip was so much fun. I know as a kid, we went over to the Green River a time or two and floated on a raft, but I'm positive this was the first time that I'd ever gone through any "real" rapids. The day was a little bit on the cooler side, but not so much to make me worry about shivering or anything. Just enough to not make me want to get in the river on purpose.

Anyway, we floated for a bit before getting to any real rapids, and our guide took some time to have us practice paddling (there were 3 rows of seats and the outside people on each row got a paddle). We had a run in or two with the other groups from the same company, some of whom decided to start a water fight with us. And they definitely won. :)

Eventually we got to some rapids. And it was never really frightening, which I liked. Our guide did a great job of steering us in a way that let us get plenty of water in the raft without ever feeling like we were going to tip over or anything.  At one point, he took us to a spot where we were able to "surf" in a rapid, sitting still in a spot where a rapid curled back and made a kind of permanent wave.

At one point we saw a couple river otters. So that was cool, too.

I think there were 5 main rapids that we went through, some class 2s and some class 3s.  I started out on the back row, and after the first 3 rapids, Brandon offered to let me ride up in the front, and that was definitely more exciting, going face first into the big water.  At one point I got a nice mouthful of the river. :)

They have photographers set up at at least one point on the river, and then you can buy copies or prints of your photos. As there were 9 of us, we chipped in and got a couple digital copies of our group:

Whitewater Rafting on the Snake

Whitewater Rafting on the Snake

Whitewater Rafting on the Snake

Anyway, the whole river trip was a lot of fun and I'm definitely glad we did that. It might have been my favorite part of the whole weekend.

After we got back from running the river, we headed back to the campsite, set up our tents, and then headed over to a place called the Bar J for a "Chuckwagon Dinner".  There's a big barn-like building with tons of tables and stuff, and they serve dinner and then there's a musical show afterward with the "Bar J Wranglers", a quartet of cowboys who play music and sing.

Due to some kind of mix up we ended up eating in some overflow tables outside, which I actually thought was nicer.  Dinner was really good with BBQ beef, chicken, beans, baked potatoes, cornbread, some kind of spice cake, and maybe another thing or two that I'm forgetting. 

The show itself was better than I had expected, too.  The singers were excellent, and despite some at times lame jokes, I enjoyed the show quite a bit. I thought "man, my dad would love these guys". Apparently they've come to Grantsville several times during their off season (the winter) but my mom says they've never gone to see them.

When the show was over, we stopped by Kmart for a few things and then called it a night. We bought firewood, but were all so tired that we didn't even build a fire that night.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Week-o-Vacationing 2011 Day 6

After a brief break from vacationing on Day 5, Friday I was back on the road. But not until I first went to work for the 2nd day this week.  That's right, somehow in the midst of all this vacationing I managed to work two whole days. :)

Anyway, after work, I hustled home, ate a quick dinner, packed up my stuff and was ready to hit the road for trip #2 of the week: Jackson Hole!  Another first this summer.  But Friday we didn't actually go to Jackson Hole. We drove most of the way there, stopping for the night at a Marriott in Rexburg, ID.  I was pretty beat at this point in the week, having still not recovered much from driving to California and back, and spent part of the drive up sleeping, and when we got to the hotel, pretty much everyone else hit the hot tub, and I just went straight to bed.

So really I guess Day 6 may have been the least exciting day of the week.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Y5K #22

  • Monday: Is it a coincidence that all of this knee stuff is happening right around my birthday? Probably, but its definitely a reminder that I'm not as young as I used to be.  Anyway, knee still bugging me today, but I still was able to go out and run 3 sets of 10 minutes each, having been inspired by Saturday's longish run.  During my running time, I did about 2.8 miles in 32 minutes.  Altogether with warm-up and cool down, I did 3.4 miles in 41.5 minutes.
And then I decided to shut things down for a while. I don't know if I pushed myself too hard the last couple weeks or if its more of a cumulative thing from all summer. Not sure.  The knee stuff was starting to concern me, and the whole joint was feeling pretty stiff and the muscles around it were sore and tight. It reminded me of a bout of bursitis I had a few years back and I dug out the handout the doctor gave me when that happened, and I've tried to do some of the stretches recommended in there and ice my knee every day and take a lot of ibuprofen.  Anyway, its starting to get back to feeling ok, though its still sore today. My dad suggested I try out the stationary bike here at the exercise room at work, so I brought my gym bag today and maybe I'll give that a shot tonight.

In any case, I'm kind of bummed to get so close to my goal and have to take some time off, but hopefully it's not a long-term setback. I can still run when it's cold outside, right? I see people doing it at least.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Week-o-Vacationing 2011 Day 5: No vacationing, just football

We got back from California/Las Vegas around 5-ish on Wednesday night, and I spent most of the night catching up on things from while I was away (email, RSS, dealing with some photos, etc), and then I went to bed and Thursday was just a normal day. Except, not exactly. The one night that I was home this week was actually the University of Utah's opening football game.  The last few years the U's been playing on Thursday before Labor Day weekend so that fans can have both football and their Labor Day vacations. Often we've played in-state "rival" Utah State, but we haven't played them the last few years. This year, seeing as how we've moved to the PAC-12 it was only fitting to start out with a I-AA patsy, and the Utes beat up on Montana St in the first half and then pretty much shut things down for the 2nd half.  Not the most exciting game ever, but sometimes it's ok to not keep things close. :)

Anyway, even though there was no vacationing, it was still an out of the ordinary day.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Y5K #21

I'm sorry I haven't finished blogging about my Week-o-Vacationing, but life just gets busy sometimes, you know? In any case, here's a post on my exercise from last week: 

  • Tuesday: Started out tonight by miscalculating my 5 minute warmup and doing 6 minutes instead. Not a big deal, but probably contributed to my longer than normal run. I decided to go for 4 sets of 8.5 minutes of jogging after a couple weeks of doing 8s. Chose a different route that unfortunately included a busy intersection that I mistime the light at both times I had to cross it, so I did a little jog down the sidewalk and back and then jogged in place for a bit which I hate doing.  At the end of everything my right foot was starting to feel a little crampy. Hopefully that's not a problem that comes back again. Seems like I've had something similar pop up at least once this summer without becoming a serious problem.  Total for today: 4.2 miles plus a little jogging in place in 51 minutes.
  • Thursday: Foot problem went away for the most part. Maybe a twinge or two after Tuesday.  Thursday night I played volleyball again, but my knee was starting to hurt before the end of the night. So that was a little discouraging.
  • Saturday: Woke up feeling a little crappy. Knee still a little sore.  But wanted to run anyway. So I told myself I'd do something shorter, like 3 sets of 8.5s or something. Right as I got to the end of my first 8.5 set, another jogger was coming the other way, so I told myself I'd at least keep jogging until we had passed each other (sometimes pride can be a motivational tool). And then I decided, hey, if I'm already going a shorter distance, I might as well see how far I can go without stopping to rest.  And then I made it the whole way around the loop that I had planned on jogging. Without any walking!  The whole loop was 2.6 miles and I did it in 28.5 minutes, counting the first 5 minutes that I walked to warm up. So I probably jogged about 2.2 miles in 23.5 minutes. Could I have gone another 0.9 miles (at that rate it would probably take me another 10 minutes running)? That's an excellent question. If I meant that I had reached my goal and that I didn't have to run any more if I didn't want to? Yeah, probably. :)  Anyway, we'll see how my knees and feet hold up after today's run, and maybe try to do some more no-walking runs like this one mixed in with longer ones.  And yeah, I probably need to find another 5K to sign myself up for. There's a 5K on the morning of the U's homecoming game, but I just realized that that is also the Saturday of general conference, so I kind of think that might not be the best day to do it. Maybe the week after...
 So, I have to say it was a pretty good week, even with just 2 runs and some lingering knee pain. Hoping to get in at least 2 runs this week, maybe 3.  And it was way encouraging to do so well on Saturday. Didn't even really have too much in the way of negative consequences that day or the day after.  Hoping that my knee situation doesn't get any worse, and hopefully gets better. It hasn't seemed to bother me while I'm running much, but it did start to bother me a bit at volleyball, and obviously the fact that it's persisted for a day or two after running isn't encouraging.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Week-o-Vacationing 2011 Day 4: 85 in a 75

Wednesday morning, we got up and got ready, took some photos to commemorate our matching shirts, and hit the road. We thought about getting breakfast buffet in Vegas, but figured we could make it to Mesquite before we'd really be hungry.

Matching Shirts
Just a little bit worn out

We got to Mesquite a mere 15 minutes before the Virgin River's breakfast buffet was ending, but that was enough time to get at least one plate of breakfast food before the buffet switched over to lunch. So then we ate lunch, too. :)  Kind of a strange meal.  And yet, I was full enough that I didn't eat again until dinner time.

The rest of the day would have been a pretty ho-hum, drive from Mesquite back to Salt Lake, if not for getting pulled over about 15 miles north of St. George for going 85 in a 75.  My whole life, I've always driven 85 in 75s, and never even been pulled over for it. I thought maybe he'd just give me a warning, but I guess if someone is serious enough to pull you over for going 10 over in the middle of nowhere, then I guess they did it because they wanted to give you a ticket.  Kind of frustrating. Like I feel like if there had been more cars on the highway, we'd have been going with the flow of traffic. But there wasn't even any traffic to flow with, much less to endanger.  Anyway... now my whole believe system on how fast I can drive without getting a ticket is completely undermined. Guess there's a first time for everything, huh?

Anyway, after that, we just drove home the rest of the way, stopping occasionally for bathroom breaks, but we made it home just in time to get a little bit of rush hour traffic heading north out of Provo, but nothing too bad.  As always it was nice to be home and sleep in my own bed for a night or two.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Week-o-Vacationing 2011 Day 3: KBF & Circus Circus

At the end of our night at Disneyland, Brandon brought up the idea that perhaps it might be wise to drive to Vegas Tuesday night rather than sleep in LA and have to drive all the way back to Salt Lake on Wednesday. Which was also something I'd thought of. I always think that on a road trip it's okay to get the long drive all out of the way on the first day, when you're still excited about the vacation, but the drive home always seems to take longer, so if you can break it up a little that helps considerably.   In any case, he found us a room at the Circus Circus that ultimately only cost us $36 total. But we'll get to that in a minute.

Our main goal for Day 3 was to hit Knott's Berry Farm.  I remember as a kid my mom mentioning it as a possible thing to do on our fairly frequent trips to California, but we never actually made it there. Maybe we just loved Disneyland too much. In any case, Julie had been there not too long ago and wanted to go back, so rather than do 2 days at Disneyland or something else, we did Knotts Berry Farm (KBF) for our 2nd day. 

Admission-wise it was considerably cheaper than Disneyland, about half of what we paid there.  And the experience was definitely different. KBF reminded me a lot of Lagoon here in Utah, with its midway games, thrill rides, and also size-wise.  Granted, most of the rides at KBF were a step up from Lagoon's. Lagoon has the rickety white roller coaster, KBF has a much bigger, much ricketier brown wooden roller coaster (Ghost Rider), that shook me so much I actually hurt afterward.  Lagoon has the "Turn of the Century" swing ride by the lake. KBF has the "Wind Chaser" swings that are the tallest structure in the park, taking you up so high that you can see for miles around.  Lagoon has "Wicked" that shoots you out at a fantastic speed and up and over a hairpin turn. KBF has "Xcelerator" that goes so fast that if you sit in the front of the car, your eyes water from the air blowing into them so fast. And a super high hairpin turn.  We rode that a bunch of times.  Oh, I should mention that while lines at Disneyland were short, lines at KBF were non-existent. I think we waited at most 5 minutes for any ride all day.

Anyway, back to the rides.  Lagoon has "The Bat", KBF has "The Silver Bullet", where you actually get something for hanging down below the bar: barrel rolls and loops and stuff.  There's also a log flume ride that has a few more drops than Lagoon's, a river ride like Rattlesnake Rapids that was actually pretty similar.  And a couple rides that take you through loops, only to then have you come backwards through the same loops.  Brandon and I did one of those with Julie (Montezuma's Revenge), but it left us both feeling queasy, so we let her do "The Boomerang" by herself since it looked even twistier.

On the Supreme Scream
Brandon and Julie on "Supreme Scream"

That was kind of the theme of the day for me: ride something, get a little queasy, sit the next ride or two out, do some more.  I think it must be part of getting old that my stomach just doesn't handle those thrill rides the way it used to.  Speaking of my stomach, food at KBF was one thing that was even more expensive than at Disneyland.  An $8 cheeseburger feels a little exorbitant, but when you find out that it's another $8 on top of that for a 21 oz drink and some fries, then you start to feel a little indignant.

Anyway, the lines were so short, that by about 3, we really had been on pretty much every ride that we wanted to, and we decided we were good to hit the road.

Knotts Welcomes You
We found a sign on our way out and had someone take our picture. Luckily they got the sign in the background.

Even leaving town at 3 we still had to crawl along the freeway for an hour or so until we got to the outskirts of LA, but after that it was smooth driving on to Vegas.Brandon got us checked in, and then we went down to see what all Circus Circus had to offer. Somehow with our room reservation, Brandon got a few coupons for rides at "The Adventure Dome", and for a free game or two at their midway games.  So he and Julie rode another rollercoaster there, I won a stuffed monkey doing some magnet fishing, we watched a trapeze show, bought matching T-shirts (3 for $10!), and eventually sat down for a nice dinner. 

Self-portrait w/ Trapeze Artists
Trapeze show

I think partly we were all worn out, but that dinner was so fun!  At one point Brandon shook his glass of water at me, as if to say "Look! I got more water!" and we all just lost it. Laughing so hard. Brandon was crying. Eventually he explained to us that he was trying to show us his ice. Or something like that. Anyway, it was a fun night.

Tears of joy
Brandon's Magic Water Glass

Dinner time @ Circus Circus

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Week o' Vacationing 2011 Day 2: The Happiest Place on Earth

Monday morning we got up bright and early so we could be to Disneyland in time for when it opened.  And to be honest, I was up a lot earlier than that. The time change plus the excitement made it easy for me to get up early and shower and then run to the store for some breakfast groceries and to fuel up the car.

After breakfast we drove the ~30 minutes over to the park, rode the parking tram over to the gates and got right in there. It seemed like last time I was there for the opening of the park they made us wait out by the flowerbed, but this time they had everyone all the way into Main Street U.S.A. before blocking the road.

Val told us that the big draw right now was the redesigned Star Tours (Now in 3D!), and that last time she was there they ran out of fast passes for the ride fairly early in the day. So we headed there first. Not to the ride itself but to the fast pass station. Once we had a time scheduled for Star Tours, we hit Space Mountain figuring the lines would be short. And they were.  Then Buzz Lightyear. Then a jaunt over to Adventureland for the Indiana Jones ride, and then to Pirates of the Caribbean (walked right on!), and the to the Haunted Mansion (closed for the day :( )

At that point it was time for our fast pass ride on Star Tours, so we headed back that way.  It was definitely an improved experience over the last time I'd been, and it was cool to find out later in the day that there are actually some portions of the ride that are randomly selected, so sometimes you get to see different places on your space journey.

Star Tours 3D!
With our Star Wars glasses on

After that, we walked over to the Matterhorn which was sadly also closed all day.  Then we hit the Autopia, the Finding Nemo Submarines, and then if I remember that's when we headed over to the other side of the park again to get a fast pass for Splash Mountain.

So excited for Autopia
Look mom! I'm driving!

We had lunch while we waited and then it was time for our ride.  Brandon hadn't been to Disneyland since the advent of the fast pass and as we walked past people who'd been waiting in line for almost an hour to get on, he was dumbfounded at why people would wait that long when they could just get a fast pass and not just sit in that line all day. So true. Anyway, Splash Mountain was fun, and Brandon, riding in the very front got soaked pretty much everywhere. I got pretty wet too and though I wrung the water out of my socks, I still felt a little squishy all day.

After that, we hit up Fantasy land and did a lot of the storybook rides there (Pinocchio, Mr. Toad's Wild Ride, Peter Pan). We went up to Toontown and rode Gadget's Go-Coaster.  Went back for a 2nd ride on Star Tours. Rode Space Mountain a couple more times. Then back to Adventureland for a couple more rides on Indiana Jones and a nearly empty Jungle Cruise.  Thunder Mountain Railroad. It's a Small World. Teacups. Roger Rabbit's something-or-other ride in Toon Town. The Disneyland Railroad.  Don't know if I'm missing anything else, but I'm sure I've mixed up the order somewhere.

Private Jungle Cruise
Our private jungle cruise ride

Indiana Jones
Driving our Indiana Jones jeep. Sometimes I would pretend to get shot with a poisonous dart during the ride for the benefit of the other passengers.

One of the kind of out of nowhere funnest moments was when Julie and Val convinced us to go on the Tea Cup ride and somehow we ended up cramming all 4 of us into the same tea cup. I felt like for sure some park employee would tell it was unsafe or something. But no. So we just were packed in there like sardines and we took a bunch of silly photos and just had a grand old time.

Tea Cup Madness
If you look closely you can see all 4 of us

Tea Cup Madness
Well, now you can see us better, but it's less obvious how crammed in were are.

Tea Cup Madness

Tea Cup Madness
Maybe my favorite picture of the whole trip

Love this clock
It's a Small World

Weight Lifter
At one point Brandon got angry and threw these weights at Julie...

...somehow she survived.

The End
The End (actually just the end of the Roger Rabbit ride)

In any case, we rode a lot of rides and the lines were relatively short and painless. Slight downer that the Matterhorn and Haunted Mansion were closed, but still a great day at Disney. The park was open til 10, but we headed for the parking lot just before the fireworks show at 9:30 feeling pretty spent and like we'd gotten our money's worth.

End of a long day
Ok, this is the real end. We had someone take our picture and for some reason it turned out weird. Probably because the ghosts had the day off from the Haunted Mansion.

Monday, September 12, 2011

The Triumphant Return of Week o' Vacationing: Day 1 - Hitting the Road

So, 2 years ago, I had a 10-day period where I went to St. George, Park City, and Yellowstone. This year I only managed to get 2 destinations in during a 9-day span, but I also went to work for 2 days, and drove to California and back, and I came home feeling like I had definitely played pretty hard, so I felt like this series of posts was deserving of the W-o-V moniker.

Starting early on Sunday morning, August 28th, Brandon and I loaded up my car and swung by Julie's house to pick her up to begin our lightning-fast trip to California and back. (Lightning-fast for me. I think Julie's done even quicker trips).  We spent the morning cruising down to St. George, arriving in time to eat lunch before hitting a 1:00 sacrament meeting.  As a kid, I remember my dad always wanted to drag us out of bed super early for road trips. I'm sure in part that's because then we would sleep quietly while he drove instead of fighting over who was on whose side of which line. And partly because he just likes to get up super early (he grocery shops at like 4 am on Saturday mornings).  But its been my experience that those morning hours on the highway just fly by so much quicker than the afternoon ones.

After church, we hit the road again and things went smoothly til we hit Vegas and started seeing highway signs warning us of heavy traffic between Vegas and LA.  And it was pretty crappy for a while.  For about half and hour, just past Vegas, we were doing about 20 mph.  And then things picked up a bit, but it was still stop and go for much of the next 3 or so hours.  Like driving at rush hour on the freeway, only no one on the freeway is exiting because there's absolutely nothing between Vegas and most of the way to LA.  We made a pit stop in Baker, but otherwise just kept powering on through.  Brandon and Julie kept me good company with the highlight being playing some "Cash Cab" on Brandon's iPod Touch.

We made it to California around 9 that night I think, sat down for dinner at a place called Coco's, then drove over to Val's and got beds set up and called it a night.

Y5K #20

Back from vacation means back to jogging:
  • Tuesday: Well one thing is for certain: The first run after some time off usually goes pretty well.  After not running for about 10 days, I went out and picked up where I left off, doing 4 jogging sets of 8 minutes each with a minute of walking between each one.  And I went 4.1 miles in 47 minutes total, counting warm-up and cool-down walking. Excluding the warm-up and cool-down, I did around 3.25 miles in 35 minutes. I'd been a little nervous about my knees (and I guess I continue to be) because even while I was on vacation I was still having some knee pain. Some of it I guess could have been due to driving a car to California and back. I don't know. In any case, my knees didn't bother me while I ran tonight. My feet are a little sore, but more in a "maybe I'm going to have a blister or two" kind of way, than in a "I wonder if I have a stress fracture" kind of way, so I guess that's good.
  • Thursday: I played volleyball for about 3 hours and really enjoyed myself.  And wasn't quite as sore as the last time I did that, so that was nice.
  • Saturday: Did another run of 4 sets of 8 minutes this morning. Actually got out to run early enough that it wasn't even 11 by the time I got done.  Picked a new route based on the fact that I'm going a lot further now than in the past. Mostly downhill on the way out so some good uphill burn on the way back in. And I felt like I kind of took it easy on the way out as well, partly thinking I should pace myself if I had to come uphill on the way back, and partly just getting warm. And my legs felt good pretty much the whole way. Anyway, only did 3.6 miles in 44 minutes.   About 3/4 of the way in I chose to run a yellow light rather than sit and jog at the corner for a whole light cycle and actually had a little left in the tank to get most of the way through the intersection before it turned red. Thankfully the car I was in front of at the time chose not to run me down for my foolishness. :)  Anyway, again my feet are a little sore in that could be a blister some day kind of way, which I can live with for now. Hopefully they'll toughen up a bit if I keep these distances up.  Starting to feel like I could probably manage to run for 27 minutes straight for a 5K if I had to. Maybe I should start looking for something to run in late September/early October.

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Semi-Annual Health Update

Before I get around to telling you all about my most recent vacations, I need to give an update on my health and well-being.  As long-time readers may know, I go to the doctor twice a year for follow-up on my Type II diabetes.  I get my blood drawn a couple days beforehand and through the miracle of modern technology I usually see my lab results before my doctor ever does.  And like last September, my scores were up (up being the opposite direction of where I want them to go) over my scores in March.  Cholesterol up a bit, HbA1c up a considerable amount (6.1 after a couples years of sub-6.0, still well below where I need to be worried, though).  Oh, and my weight is up a bit, too. So that's fun. :)  Mostly I blame it on not having cared much about my diet this summer.  I do check my weight regularly and have known for a while that it's been higher than it used to be. Just been hard with all the traveling and playing to get into a consistent pattern of eating healthy in a while.

In any case, I'm always nervous going into my appointments when I know that I've regressed since the last one. But, all my nervousness was for naught. My doctor was still very positive. Noted my higher scores and said they were still pretty good, nothing to worry about. No new meds or anything.  Still said I'm "the easiest diabetic patient he has".  Oh, and my blood pressure is still really good (116/70), so I've got that going for me. :)

Anyway, happy that I haven't vacationed my way into too much trouble, and glad to have a little kick in the butt to get back to watching what I eat more carefully.

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Where to even begin...

Back at work after the holiday weekend, and yet somehow it feels like I've been gone a lot longer.  Went to Jackson Hole for the weekend, but last week I went to California (Sun-Wed), then worked two days with a football game in the middle of all that. Haven't been for a run in over a week. Got my blood drawn this morning for my semi-annual diabetes follow-up appt on Thursday.  My birthday is coming up. I'm speaking in church on Sunday. I feel like I'm behind on everything and don't know where to begin.

In any case, I think I'm back at home for a good while now and hopefully can get back into a more consistent routine. Photos from my last two trips are up on Flickr if you want an idea of some of what I've been up to. I hope to blog a bit about them in the future. Just not sure where that ranks on my to-do list.